How has the lubricants industry evolved over the past several years in the face of unprecedented obstacles such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, severe weather events and an ever-growing emphasis on emissions reductions? And what changes are forecast for the coming years?

The new Lubes’n’Greases Factbook—now online and continually updated—answers these questions and more using easily digestible tables, graphs and explanatory narrative.

I invite you to take a peek at how base oil and crude oil prices have ebbed and flowed over the past year, dig into why finished lubricant sales rocketed in 2022 or learn how the host of specification development committees work together to bring new engine oil categories to fruition. 

Sydney Moore
Managing Editor


Lubes 101

How Much Lubricant in a Barrel of Crude Oil?

Thanks to “processing gains” at U.S. refineries, a 42-gallon barrel of crude oil (approximately 0.14 metric tons) makes nearly 45 gallons of products. But very little of it is lubricants.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy


Base Oil Production

U.S. Production of Base Oils Over Time

United States base oil production in 2022 fell off sharply from 2021 levels. In fact, production in 2022 was more than 3 million barrels less than it was in the year immediately preceding the pandemic.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration


Finished Lubricants: Demand

Total Japan Lubricant Sales 

Lubricant sales in Japan reached new heights in 2022. After a pandemic-induced dip in 2021 and a slight recovery in 2022, sales volumes in the country reached their highest levels in years.

Source: Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry


Editor's Picks

U.S. Lubricant Additive Market Volume

The additives market experienced an uncomfortable tightness in 2022 as a result severe weather and other factors. ...

European Base Oil and Crude Prices

European crude oil and base oil pricing experienced a host of price adjustments in 2022. Which factors are to blame? ...

South Korean Base Oil Exports

South Korea is among the world’s largest exporters of base oil, shipping out more than 4 million metric tons in 2022. ...

Engine Oil Category Timeline

Compared to 50 years ago, significantly more engine oil categories are required to meet today’s demands. ...

Lube Tech

EVs have had little impact on lubricant formulations to date. But this is changing.

Performance requirements for ICE and hybrids overlap, but EVs are another story.

Battery cooling requires a dedicated fluid and thermal management system for maximum range.

Examining the performance needs for EV greases.


Governments are helping EVs become one of the world's fastest-growing automotive sectors.

National low- and zero-emissions vehicle policies and incentives around the Americas.

National low- and zero-emissions vehicle policies and incentives around Europe.

National low- and zero-emissions vehicle policies and incentives around Asia.