Oil Processing - Base Oils

BHTS is the first choice in solvent-based lube technology

BHTS is the first choice in solvent-based lube technology and offers a full range of lube services worldwide. 

Featured expertise

  • Initial consultation 
  • Feasibility studies
  • Laboratory pilot plant studies: Obtain design data on client feedstocks and predict yields and quality based on actual experimental results; develop recommended operating conditions; perform crude evaluations for lube potential
  • Process license packages: Develop detailed process design information including design basis, process flow diagrams (PFDs), heat and material balances, equipment data sheets, relief load analysis and piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)
  • Detailed engineering: Support client EPC contractor by reviewing engineering documents, HAZOP participation, audit plant facilities during construction; Bechtel can also offer EPC services directly to the client
  • Operator training 
  • Startup and commissioning
  • Technical services: Post startup unit audits and troubleshooting

The technology 

Vacuum Distillation (VDU)

  • Cut distillates consistent with final product specifications (e.g., flash, distillation, viscosity)
  • VDU design and performance is critical to operation of the downstream units
  • Non-licensed unit. BHTS expertise can prepare the process engineering package or advise clients on unit requirements

Propane Deasphalting (PDA)

  • Solvent extraction using propane to separate heavy lube components in vacuum residuum from the asphaltenes and resins
  • Non-licensed unit. BHTS has the capability to conduct pilot plant tests to set the process design basis and provide an open-art process design

MP Refining℠ or Furfural Refining

  • Solvent extraction to remove undesirable components (e.g., aromatics, sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, metals, olefins)
  • Improves viscosity index (VI), thermal stability, oxygen stability, and color
  • Licensed by BHTS

Hy-Finishing℠ (HF)

  • Fixed bed hydrotreater (replaces clay treating or acid treating)
  • Improves color and stability
  • Reduces sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, aromatics, and metals
  • Can be used for lube base oil, finished wax, and white oil production
  • Licensed by BHTS


  • Fixed bed hydrotreater with more severe conditions than hydrogen finishing
  • Used to improve the quality of lube distillates and deasphalted oil derived from poor lube crudes prior to solvent extraction; improves extraction yields
  • Licensed by BHTS

Solvent dewaxing (SDU)

  • Removes wax from (usually extracted) lube distillates by chilling and filtration in a solution of a solvent and an anti-solvent (usually methyl ethyl ketone [MEK] and toluene)
  • Improves pour point
  • Licensed by BHTS

Wax Fractionation℠ (WF)

  • Filtration at a higher temperature to melt and separate softer waxes
  • If a stand-alone unit, similar to a solvent dewaxing unit
  • Can be configured as a third stage of a solvent dewaxing unit with a separate recovery train for the soft wax
  • Licensed by BHTS


  • Fixed bed hydrotreater with more severe conditions than hydrogen finishing
  • Used to increase saturates and reduce sulfur in order to produce Group II like base oils
  • Improves VI of base oil
  • Licensed by BHTS

Worldwide licensed lube facilities

  • 100 Furfural Refining
  • 5 MP Refining
  • 8 Hydrogen Finishing
  • 100 Solvent Dewaxing
  • 50 Stand Alone Wax Fractionation
  • 8 Integrated Dewaxing / Wax