Ampol Starts Blending Mobil Lubes

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Ampol Starts Blending Mobil Lubes
Ampol has begun blending Mobil lubricants in Australia. Photo courtesy of Ampol

Ampol said this week that it had formally commenced production and supply of Mobil lubricants at its lubricant manufacturing facility in Queensland, in northeastern Australia. It’s a key step in a marketing alliance ExxonMobil announced in October 2020 and in Ampol’s transition from its former name and role as Caltex Australia.

The former Caltex Australia changed its company name to Ampol in 2020 after Chevron notified the company in late 2019 that it couldn’t use the Caltex brand on its lubricants and grease products once an existing licensing agreement ended.

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The blending commencement follows last October’s announcement that Ampol and ExxonMobil had entered a marketing alliance to blend, distribute and market Mobil lubricants across Australia. Under the agreement, Ampol will supply Mobil lubricants to retail and business customers through a combination of direct and distributor channels.

The start of blending is an important milestone in Ampol’s conversion to Mobil lubricants, Brent Merrick, Ampol executive general manager for commercial, said in a news release. Business-to-business customers are expected to receive the new products in the coming months and retail customers later in the year.

“Through our lubricants alliance with ExxonMobil, we are using our scale, Australian expertise, manufacturing capability and strong customer relationships to bring Mobil lubricants to Australian consumers and support our commitment to evolving our lubricants offer to meet changing customer needs,” Merrick said.

Kum Fong Siew, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific executive director for South Asia Pacific Lubricants, said, “Over the last six months, we have worked closely with Ampol on their lubricants facility conversion to Mobil.”

The manufacturing, distribution and marketing conversion to Mobil lubricants is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Last month, Ampol announced it would keep open its Lytton, Australia, refinery – which includes a finished lubricant blending plant – after agreeing to accept government financial support aimed at preventing the nation’s last fuels refineries from closing. The New South Wales, Australia-based company, which formerly operated as Caltex Australia, warned last year that it might close the Lytton refinery, located outside Brisbane, because it was losing money.

The ExxonMobil Australia group has operated in Australia since 1895.

The Ampol brand was phased out in Australia after it merged with Caltex in 1995. In December 2019, Caltex Australia announced it would change its company name to Ampol, subject to a shareholder vote in May 2020. In 2020, it also began rebranding its 2,000-plus service station chain and oil products to Ampol, a brand it has owned since the 1995 merger.

Caltex Australia said it made the plans to rebrand its operations after Chevron notified the company that it could not use the Caltex brand on its lubricants and grease products once an existing licensing agreement between the two companies ends. The license agreement provided a three-year transition period, consisting of a six-month notice period and 30-month work-out period, the company stated in December 2019.

Caltex was the brand name and the licensee for Chevron products in Australia, including refined fuels and lubricants. Chevron sold its 50 percent stake in Caltex Australia in 2015.

Shortly afterward, Caltex broke up with BP Australia, dissolving a 15-year lubricant blending joint venture known as Australian Lubricant Manufacturing Co. After the split, Caltex retained a blending plant and base oil storage facility at Lytton in Brisbane as its home base for lubricants and grease in Australia. It also has distribution and warehousing facilities throughout the country in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.