New GM at Chevron Base Oils


Chevron Downstream and Chemicals named Patricia Sinkin Leigh general manager of Chevron global base oils effective May 16, succeeding Marty Gilles.

Leigh will oversee the base oil business units day-to-day activities as well as direct strategic growth for future production from Chevrons base oil refineries. Gilles moved into the position of general manager for Americas transportation and operations.

In 1990 Leigh joined Chevron as a petroleum engineer. She later held positions in shipping, supply and trading, refinery operations and strategic planning, including leading a company-wide strategic planning process for Chevron Global Downstream.

Chevron is in the midst of reducing its global downstream business by 5,700 jobs over three years. Last year it laid off 1,900 people. In mid-May, the company gave layoff notices to nearly 1,500 additional employees in U.S. downstream businesses. Chevron is also seeking bids for several downstream operations in Europe.

Chevrons Richmond, Calif., base oil plant has about 20,000 barrels per day of API Group II capacity. Chevron has planned a 25,000 b/d Group II base oil facility, with estimated completion in 2013, at its Pascagoula, Miss., refinery. Despite the cuts in downstream activities, Chevron has said the Pascagoula base oil project remains in its plans.

GS Caltex, a 50-50 joint venture of Chevron and GS Holdings, has a 17,000 b/d Group II/III plant in Yeosu, South Korea. In February, GS Caltex said it would invest 3 billion South Korean won (U.S. $2.6 million) to launch a finished lubricants business in India in April, as part of an effort to create new export markets for its products.

In December 2009, Chevron subsidiary Caltex Australia announced plans to close its 3,300 b/d Group I base oil refinery at Kurnell in Sydney to cut costs and improve efficiency. The company has not yet announced a closure date.

By deadline, Lube Report was unable to reach Leigh for comment.

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