“Gulf Oil Marine, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf Oil International, was founded in 2008,” begins the company’s CEO Keith Mullin. Gulf Oil International is a famous brand with a long history dating back to the early 1900s of providing top quality lubricants for commercial and industrial interests; it established Gulf Oil Marine as a dedicated outlet for its shipping customers. The company offers a range of main and auxiliary lubricants that are dedicated to maritime applications that bear the quality for which its parent has become known.
“We currently operate from ten regional offices around the world with a global headquarters in Hong Kong,” Keith continues. In addition to regional branches, Gulf Oil Marine also founded the Sealub Alliance, an international partner network of maritime lubricant companies that means its products can be obtained anywhere in the world even if there is no local Gulf representative. Following an intensive yearlong development programme, more than 850 ports in 75 countries are now covered by Gulf Oil Marine and the Sealub Alliance network leading to a quick growth in some of the world’s up and coming maritime hubs. “We are now expanding rapidly in China, Southeast Asia, Korea, India, Latin America and Europe.”
Of course this would be nothing without a broad range of good quality products. Gulf Oil Marine’s in-house research and development team has created both mineral and synthetic oils and greases that can be used for main engines and auxiliary equipment. This includes, for example, the GulfSea Power multifunctional mineral oil series intended for use in four-stroke diesel engine trunk pistons or the GulfSea Synth Gear Oil series of synthetic heavy duty oils to be used for applications such as bow thrusters and gear boxes.
Keith discusses in greater detail a recently launched lubricant destined for special applications: “Our new GulfSea Cyclare EHP 5055 Marine Cylinder Lubricant (MCL) is designed for the latest generation technology of low-speed crosshead diesel engines operating with higher pressures and temperatures and longer strokes operating with fuel sulphur contents in the range of 1 to 3.5 per cent by weight. This lubricant is formulated with the latest technology and satisfies the most stringent requirements from engine manufacturers.”
The GulfSea Cyclare EHP 5055 has undergone extensive lab and field-testing; carried out by an in-house team, field tests were then approved by diesel engine manufacturing major MAN Diesel & Turbo. The lubricant is ideal for shipping companies’ concerns about bunker fuel management onboard and the lubrication of their two-stroke marine engines in and out Emission Controlled Areas.
These products are supplemented by a strong technical support service, administered across Gulf Oil Marine worldwide network, which is defined by Gulf Oil Marine’s motto: ‘We are always at the ship’s side’. This takes a holistic approach to customer service that looks not only at the operational performance of the grease and oils but also preventative maintenance measures, proper crew training on lubrication issues, and budget problem solutions through tailored packages.
It also offers variety of laboratory and analysis services for used oils. The Lubtrust Used Oil Anaylsis, for example, is a kit undertakes a complete chemical survey of a vessel’s lubricants in service. Onboard crew can capture samples of the oil then return the kit to Gulf Oil Marine who will produce a report that comments on ways a ship can improve its lubricant solutions. Alternatively there is the LubTrust Onboard Analysis kit designed to provide crew with information in emergency situations.
This combination of good products and excellent service has made Gulf Oil Marine such a successful name in just a brief period of time. “Our products are of the highest quality standards as evidenced by our extensive list of OEM approvals,” Keith iterates. “Our industry-leading customer service, through six 24/7 service centres, has been highly appreciated by our growing list of clients. Our network of over 850 ports has proven the most valuable asset to our customers from the inception of Gulf Oil Marine.”
The facilities in which Gulf Oil Marine’s products are manufactured are similarly scattered across the world to better meet the requirements of locality and urgency that ships often demand. Blending centres can be found everywhere from Busan to Los Angeles and Jebel Ali to Dordrecht, further reinforcing the company’s motto as a ubiquitous partner for all its clients.
The success of Gulf Oil Marine can be pinned on its familiarity and experience of the maritime industry: despite descending from a multinational oil corporation, the company has developed an infrastructure of people with extensive experience in shipping and maritime lubricants. With the Sealub Alliance, expertise at the top is reinforced with expertise on the ground as technical and sales offices are well turned not only in products but also in the requirements of ports and piers. A policy of 24/7 availability means companies have been drawn toward the company’s outstanding all round quality.
To spread its name, Gulf Oil marine is a frequent fixture at maritime shows across the globe. Most recently it took part in Marintec China 2011, the country and Asia’s largest maritime exhibition, where it displayed the GulfSea Cyclare EHP5055. It also attended INMEX 2011, India’s largest shipping trade exhibition, at the end of September, as well as Sea Asia 2011 mid April in Singapore. Attending such exhibitions has gone a long way in helping the company remain visible and promote its name in the market.
A good reputation has helped it through rough times. “The marine industry is facing one of the most severe environments in decades,” Keith explains. “With low charter rates and high operating costs, our customers are looking for every possible source of additional value. Gulf Oil Marine’s quality products combined with an intense focus on customer service with a large and flexible supply network helps deliver this critical added value.”
What this means for the future of Gulf Oil Marine is that the company is in an excellent position to continue doing what it does best: helping clients run a smooth operation. Keith concludes with an overview of the company’s plans for tomorrow: “Gulf Oil Marine’s strategy is as simple as it is effective: to continue focusing on our customers’ needs above anything else. This may sound simplistic but our execution of this strategy has allowed us to earn the trust from a growing number of leading ship owners and managers around the world. We plan to continue this tradition.”