Shell Lubricants has secured the top spot in 2008 as the global lubricants supplier for the third year in a row, according to research released by Kline & Company.
The company supplied 13 percent of lubricant volumes in 2008, followed by ExxonMobil, which handled 11 percent of the market. Other companies rounding out the top five included BP, Chevron and PetroChina.

Kline's research also found that global demand for lubricants was down 3 percent from 2007, accounting for 38.2 million tonnes in 2008. The U.S. consumed 22 percent all global lubricants, the largest single market in 2008.

"Kline's research shows that we have continued to outperform the global lubricants market and maintained our leadership position in spite of the challenging external environment," said David Pirret, executive vice president for Shell Lubricants.

Shell experienced strong growth in Brazil and Russia, with volumes gaining 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Shell held on to 12 percent of the market share in the U.S.

"The US lubricants market saw a significant contraction in 2008 and this is likely to continue in 2009," said Geeta Agashe, vice president for energy at Kline. "Sales of industrial lubricants have been the hardest hit, with industries like automotive manufacturing, fabricated and primary metals, construction and mining seeing a major reduction in their business."