The petrochemical industry in India has been one of the fastest growing industries in the country. This industry also has immense importance in the growth of economy of the country and the growth and development of manufacturing industry as well. It provides the foundation for manufacturing industries like construction, packaging, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, textiles etc.Petroleum productsare useful materials derived from crude oil (petroleum) as it is processed in oil refineries. Major products of oil refineries includes asphalt, liquefied petroleum gas, diesel fuel, lubricating oils, fuel oils, gasoline, kerosene, paraffin wax, tar, petrochemicals. Product variation is fairly extensive depending on the requirements of the segment served. In many cases, specific customers have their own special requirements.
The lubricating oil and grease are one of the most important sectors of the petrochemical industry. The lubricating oil and grease market in India is of the order of 1.3 million tonnes and is growing at around 4.5% annually. The moderate growth is paradoxically due to the supply of better quality of lubricants which have longer servicing capability. The lubricant market is estimated to grow to the level of 1.42 million tonnes in 2006-07 and to approximately 2 million tonnes in 2014-15.
The Indian lubricants industry claims to be the sixth largest in the world. It has the presence of almost all major MNCs which include Shell, Mobil, Gulf oil, Caltex. Some of these oil majors have even tied up or renewed old ties with public sector undertakings, thereby gaining the advantage of distribution and infrastructural networks. The industry is being constrained by high petroleum prices.
The Lubricants market was dominated by three public sectors refinery companies. One of them is Bharat Petroleum, followed by Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum. Small contributions came in from BPL and private players like Castrol, Lubrizol India and Indian Additives came into existence for manufacturing sophisticated lubricant additives with the collaboration of Lubrizol and Chevron, respectively.
The Lube market consists of two major segments, automotive and industrial, having a market share of 60% and 40%, respectively. Most of the competition is crowding into the first category. In the automotive segment, while cars and two or three wheelers segment accounts for 30% of the market, diesel operated engines, trucks and other heavy vehicles have the bulk share of 70%.
Some of the leading brands include Mobil, Penzoil, Castrol, Servo, Friction, Modifiers, Multi-G, Power Trac, XHD, Elf, Motorol, ESSO, Shell, to name a few.