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Making engine oils  

Challenges: To meet the global challenge of reducing CO2 emissions, today’s engine oils are evolving to be lower in viscosity, which can improve overall fuel efficiency. Despite the trend toward smaller engines and harsher engine environments, these engine oils must still deliver better performance and improved wear protection. Whether you’re formulating engine oils for passenger or commercial vehicles, the market demands longer drain intervals to provide sustainability benefits and customer value.

How we can help: Engine oil formulators rely on our advanced synthetic base stocks to meet today’s challenges. Compared to mineral oils, synthetic base stocks in automotive lubricants are designed to provide:

  • Excellent low-temperature properties
  • Lower volatility
  • Better thermal, oxidative and shear stability
  • Improved lubricity

Lubricant solutions


Low-viscosity engine oil

To meet the growing demand for engine oils with better low-temperature properties, low volatility, and improved thermal and oxidative stability, formulators use our low-viscosity SpectraSyn™ polyalphaolefin (PAO) base stocks to boost performance of mineral oil formulations.

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Noack/viscocity curve for group 1, 2, and 3 base stocks.


Synthetic base stock innovation

To help give your lubricants a competitive edge in today’s market and in the future, we continue to innovate with unique step-out base stocks that enable improved fuel efficiency, including low-viscosity, low-volatility PAOs and esters with excellent oxidative stability. These base stocks are designed for 0W engine oils.

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Noack volatility


Ester FE 2.X

With 5W-30 still the most popular grade in North America, Europe and China, formulators are looking for ways to increase fuel efficiency in this grade. That’s why we developed Ester FE 2.X – a unique new ester that enables improved fuel efficiency in 5W+ fluids.

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Ester FE 2.X provides up to 0.55% fuel economy credit.


Market trends

Today’s engine oil market revolves mainly around one goal – sustainability. Lowering CO2 emissions to meet stricter regulations requires oils that enhance fuel economy and last longer. Today’s engine oil manufacturers must innovate to meet this need for energy efficiency.


1. Fuel economy

To enhance fuel economy, thereby lowering emissions, engine oil formulators are moving to lower viscosities. While 5W-30 is still the most popular grade, 0W-20 grade oils are quickly gaining acceptance around the world, and OEMs are testing even lower viscosities. The challenge is ensuring these low-viscosity oils can maintain protection. Our synthetic base stocks help solve this challenge through high viscosity index, which helps enhance both wear protection and energy efficiency. 

Trends for emmission targets for passenger cars

2. Longer drain intervals

Durability is critical for engine oils in today’s market. In both passenger and commercial vehicles, synthetic lubricants have proven to maintain performance capabilities longer than oils formulated with mineral base stocks. Through outstanding thermal and oxidative stability even at extreme temperatures, as well as low volatility, our advanced synthetic base stocks enable long oil life.

Inside insights

Explore ways we can help your business.

  • ExxonMobil Chemical Lubricants formulation

    Suite of solutions

    Explore the formulation and performance advantages provided by our suite of advanced synthetic base stocks

    Learn more
  • car on road

    OEM Engine Oil Lubricant Specifications

    Tap into our formulation expertise by exploring our guide to OEM specifications for engine oils.

    Download the guide
  • Synovation video – Synthetic vs. mineral base stocks

    Find out the distinct performance advantages synthetic base stocks provide over mineral-oil base stocks

    Watch the video

Browse products 

Broad portfolio of synthetic base stocks

  • Industrial Mining Shovel with Graphics

    SpectraSyn Elite™ mPAO

    High-viscosity metallocene polyalphaolefin base stock provides high performance at a wide temperature range and exceptional low-temperature properties.

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  • traffic on highway

    SpectraSyn Plus™ PAO

    Advanced low-viscosity synthetic base stock for low volatility and low-temperature fluidity to produce advanced lubricants.

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  • truck taking turn with rolling shutter

    SpectraSyn™ Hi Vis PAO

    High viscosity base stock especially suited for industrial oils requiring high stability under harsh operating conditions.

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  • Cars going through intersection with running shutter

    SpectraSyn™ Low Vis PAO

    Low viscosity base stock offering low-temperature fluidity, low volatility and improved thermal stability.

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  • Industrial Rotary Screw with highlighting

    Synesstic™ AN

    Alkylated naphthalene base stock often used as blend component for additive solvency, seal compatibility and hydrolytic stability.

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  • Airplane taking off at night

    Esterex™ esters

    Organic esters are well-suited as a blend component for additive solvency, seal compatibility or biodegradability.

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Let's talk about how we can support your success.


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