Shell’s Carbon-Neutral Lubricant Products

Innovative services rolled out by Shell Middle East will reduce emissions, as the company continues with its strategic plan to become carbon neutral.

Shell is the world’s leading producer of automotive and industrial lubricants, with operations in over 100 countries worldwide. The company invests heavily in its research and development, constantly upgrading the formulation of its motor oils and lubricants to offer the latest technology in its products.

Shell has gone beyond simply selling lubricants, increasingly offering services, as well. One of the services rolled out by Shell, called LubeAdvisor, has recently found favor among industrial and other customers. After applying for this service, a seasoned engineer will be dispatched to the customers’ location for the firsthand examination of the site, as well as lubrication surveys, vessel assessments, and in-depth technical and application support.

Once the engineers are on the field, they begin sizing up the technical specifications of your industry to narrow down on the best lubricant product from Shell’s line up for the customer’s particular needs. Shell’s LubeAdvisor technicians have been trained to optimize lubricant consumption in each of the customer’s industrial equipment based on the technical recommendations of the manufacturer. Consultation can also be delivered on phone or via the internet by a qualified LubeAdvisor staff.

Shell Middle East has thus far rolled out the LubeAdvisor service in the UAE as well as Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar. “We help them improve the lubrication and maintenance cycles of their equipment and vehicles, which can ultimately lead to significant benefits, including reduced fleet maintenance and operational costs,” says Haytham Yehia, General Manager of Shell Middle East.

LubeAnalyst is another service initiative, which an increasing number of Shell customers are using. Industries which use Shell motor oils and lubricants can send a sample of their used oil to Shell labs for analysis. A team of lab scientists will assess the sample’s condition to figure out potential problems in the machinery.

The LubeAnalyst service can then provide the client with corrective feedback regarding maintenance, diagnosis, and lubricant replacement. At industrial scale, this can save considerable money by reducing downtimes thanks to timely diagnosis, while slowing down the wear and tear of machinery. A comprehensive report outlining the necessary corrective measures is sent to the customer within a few days of the samples’ delivery to the appropriate Shell lab.

Aside from the obvious benefits such as cutting down on lubricant consumption and extending the lifespan of your equipment, LubeAdvisor and LubeAnalyst are considered eco-friendly initiatives. Less-than-optimal use of motor oils and lubricants can have catastrophic environmental consequences, as degraded lubricants can escape to the heated parts of the system, where they will burn and turn into toxic gases or vapors.

Such toxic byproducts are hazardous for individuals in the area and can even make their way to water sources. Burned lubricants have an unfortunate tendency to contaminate water reservoirs. One liter of burned oil is enough to contaminate a million liters of fresh water, according to The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The LubeAdvisor and LubeAnalyst initiatives are preventing such leakages in various industries.

Shell sees sustainability as part of its social mission, but above that believes there is no contradiction between sustainable practices and business productivity. Indeed, Yehia told TBY that in his company’s philosophy, the two services go hand-in-hand, reinforcing each other. As the world moves toward carbon neutrality, only those companies which are more mindful of ecological issues will stay relevant in the business scene.

Aside from helping customers optimize their machinery through innovative services, Shell itself is moving toward carbon neutrality as a large company, hoping to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This will be partly achieved by “capturing and storing any remaining emissions using technology or balancing them with offsets.” To make sure that things are moving in the right direction, the company also set a midterm objective in 2021: reducing the absolute emissions by half by 2030—compared to 2016 levels.
The progress has been noteworthy as of 2022. Shell has managed to power many of its plants with renewable energy. “In total, we have taken out over 34,000 tons CO2 emissions from our own operations, reducing our manufacturing carbon intensity by over 30% since 2016,” according to Yehia.

In terms of its product lineup, Shell continues to work on the formulation of its lubricants. The company is never hesitant to improve its product mix by making a few changes, as they see their product portfolio holistically, and not product-by-product. If a product needs to be dropped due to sustainability issues, it will be replaced with something even better. Thanks to such strategies, Shell’s premium products have become entirely carbon neutral. Meanwhile, the company continues to raise awareness among its customers, encouraging them to opt for those lubricants that will reduce emissions in engines and machinery.