Direct customer contact and investment in technology are the cornerstones of Gulf Oil Marine’s strategy
Lubrication is not simply a case of supplying approved lubricating oil. It also encompasses in-service monitoring of machinery and performance. Results information that has been analysed is always more valuable than raw data; tailor-made advice about tangible actions that save costs, reduce maintenance, and ensure compliance aids ship operators proactively, both in their daily operations and in the longer term. Gulf Oil Marine has recently begun to focus on making these resources more widely available to its customers.
Gulf Oil Marine is experimenting with state-of-the-art gas sensing technology to assess fuel consumption and energy efficiency
The company is working in a number of areas that link lubrication with actions to improve engine performance, reduce fuel consumption, and assure compliance with emissions limits. Technology that provides performance data has been in use for several years, but its adoption is not widespread. Gulf Oil Marine believes the ‘install another widget’ approach is not the best solution so the company is experimenting with integrating technology into information output in order to formulate a much more valuable, useful and practical solution for its customers. Utilising state-of-the-art gas sensing technology, Gulf Oil Marine is currently assessing the importance and value of information on pollutant emissions, fuel consumption and energy efficiency.
The stages leading to cylinder liner wear are very well known, yet catastrophic failures and high wear rates are still common. A typical reaction, says Gulf Oil Marine, is to mimic a solution employed by other companies, or re-invent cylinder oil that purports to be even better than the previous generation. These approaches have a finite window of value beyond which the outcome is, at the very best, incremental improvement.
Gulf Oil Marine constantly benchmarks and improves its product performance with the latest technology, to meet market needs. The company believes that more fundamental research is called for to help the industry and the OEMs overcome some of these problems, either through new technology or better systems management.
Gulf Oil Marine’s strategy for satisfying the cylinder oil lubrication needs of its customer base is to continue to supply Gulfsea Cylcare DCA 5070H, the 70BN cylinder oil for vessels operating globally with only occasional short periods inside the emission control areas (ECAs). For a more flexible approach, avoiding the need for multiple grades of cylinder oil, customers with vessels on global and ECA trading patterns can opt for Gulfsea Cylcare EHP 5055. Gulf Oil Marine also continues to supply Gulfsea Cylcare DCA 5040H, the 40BN cylinder oil for continuous operation on low sulphur fuels, such as those bunkered in some parts of South America.
Gulf Oil Marine is a relatively new entrant into the marine market. Established in 2008, the company has already attracted a strong portfolio of customers who see the real value in Gulf's simple yet innovative approach to this challenging market. The lubricants are competitively priced, but market share has been established and retained through the highest level of customer service. While this may be a basic tenet of any business, Gulf Oil Marine says that many of the customers that have switched to its services were motivated by the poor service experienced elsewhere in the market. They typically cited restricted office hour call centres and limited availability of product.
Gulf Oil Marine has been especially successful in attracting smaller operators. Its approach is to work directly with such companies to avoid pool management fees and broker commissions.
The company delivers a full range of lubricants across marine, offshore and subsea market segments. It has approvals from all the major enginebuilders, meaning that newbuild deliveries can also be assured of compliance with licensee warranties.