Published on August 7th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez



Audi GTI Power GTL Fuel

Today’s vehicles need a motor oil that keeps pace with their changing demands and does more to improve performance and engine life. This is why Shell came up with an entirely new way, starting with natural gas, to produce base oils; the main component of motor oils made with our patented gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology.

This GTL technology is globally marketed by Shell as the Shell PurePlus Technology. In combination with proprietary Active Cleansing Technology, it has yielded premium motor oils such as Shell Helix Ultra – no other motor oil keeps engines closer to factory clean. Compared to base oil made from crude oil, the GTL technology produces clearer base oil with virtually none of the impurities found in crude oil. GTL base oils helps to: extend engine life, reduce maintenance costs, reduce oil consumption, maintain fuel economy and enable better cleanliness. This meets the demands of motorists today who are looking for improved performance and better protection for their engines


“Shell Helix Ultra is Shell’s most advanced motor oil yet: offering customers the very latest motor oil technology. The new product range meets the most modern industry specifications and has received approvals from leading vehicle and engine manufacturers across the world,” said Troy Chapman, Cluster General Manager, Southeast Asia, Shell Lubricants.

Shell has now linked up its gas value chain in Qatar to its global Lubricants Supply Chain to produce premium motor oils from natural gas. The GTL base oil is manufactured at the Pearl GTL plant in Ras Laffan in Qatar, a partnership between Qatar Petroleum and Shell and the world’s largest source of gas-to-liquid (GTL) products. The base oil is shipped to three regional storage hubs in Houston, Hamburg and Hong Kong and distributed from these hubs into Shell’s global network of 50 Lubricant Blending Plants. This is where the final product is blended, packaged and sent to the market. It reaches the end-consumer directly via retail outlets (general and motor shops shelf) or indirectly via dealer or independent vehicles workshops.

Goodyear 650x85(DSF)

To produce Shell Helix Ultra products, the GTL base oil is blended with proprietary Active Cleansing Technology to create a motor oil that helps provide superior cleansing and protection for today’s engines—protection that exceeds industry standards, keeping critical engine components cleaner. The range of Shell Helix Ultra with Shell PurePlus Technology products were launched in Malaysia last month.

Closer to home, the Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (Shell MDS) plant in Bintulu Sarawak is the first commercial GTL plant, the culmination of over 30 years research into the utilisation of alternative raw materials for the production of fuels and specialty chemicals. The Bintulu facility process incorporates state-of-the-art safety, energy conservation and environmental protection systems. The plant itself is completely integrated such that the only incoming raw material is natural gas and the only outgoing waste products are water and flue gas, which are regulated by highly efficient waste water treatment and flare system respectively.

Shell Lubricants Cluster General Manager_2

The synthetic fuels and specialty chemicals produced by the Shell MDS plant are unrivalled in terms of purity and paraffinicity. After the success of the plant at Bintulu, the world-scale Pearl GTL plant was constructed and today produces approximately 1 million tonnes of base oil per year. The lessons learnt at Bintulu were rigorously integrated into the design for Pearl GTL.

“Global engine technology has taken huge advances forward in recent years. The time is thus right for a step-change in the perception and usage of premium motor oils. With a natural gas based technology, a key future energy source, Shell can now reinvent and reimagine the synthetic grade, thus doing smart business while being innovative. In Shell Helix Ultra with Shell PurePlus Technology Shell sees an opportunity to grow our business and move Shell Helix into the top spot of Premium leadership” Chapman said.

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