Skip to content

Bechtel’s Impact Report

Oil Processing - Base Oils

Banner Image ALT

BETS is the first choice in solvent-based lube technology

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

solvent-based lube 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

In 1996, Bechtel purchased the Lube Base Oil Manufacturing Process technologies and the associated licensing business from Texaco Development Corporation. This included all the patents, intellectual property, licenses, contracts, and lube pilot units, as well as access to their technical specialists.