Beyond The Barrel: Insights from Industry Events and Lubes Market Sentiment

Welcome to the latest edition of Beyond The Barrel, ABN Resource’s monthly newsletter. Our goal is to inform you about the latest personnel trends and news in the lubricants industry so you have critical information to support your business aims and goal attainment. 

February has been a month of industry events for the ABN European team, where we gained helpful insights into the market and opportunities to network with key industry contacts. With a more favourable market outlook, we also picked up some exciting new jobs across Europe and the USA. We will share all of these in the monthly round-up below. 

ICIS and Argus Conference Insights

ABN Resource was a partner to both the ICIS Base Oils and Lubricants Conference and the Argus Global Base Oils Conference in London this February. Both events were well-attended (250+ personnel), with only a minor crossover in delegates at both events. It seemed that many elected to do one event or the other. 

For the hardy souls that did both, it was tiring having two massive events and a packed meeting schedule within a fortnight of each other. The days start with breakfast meetings and finish in a bar somewhere after dinner. But we believe you have to make the most of a great opportunity when the global industry visits the UK to network and learn, so it was a pleasure to be at both meetings. 

A recurring theme from the events was one of cautious optimism. We have all worked through some significant challenges recently. Pandemics, geopolitical issues, and tightening finance and inflation. Now looming large is the Red Sea conflict and weaponisation of supply chains. The lube sector is not immune to this latest development. There is some caution surrounding the Red Sea situation and its impact on the year ahead. But with the sector successfully navigating several trading storms in recent times, there is resilience and optimism that the sector will find a way to navigate through the scenario. What next? 

Mid-2024 onward sees elections in half the world’s major economies. Who comes into power will impact the future of energy, legislation and regulation. 

In addition, long-existing questions on the role of lubes in sustainability, future mobility, and rising electricity demand are starting to be answered. With this, there is reason to believe there are many exciting opportunities in the future to capitalise on.  

The Future of the Industry

Looking ahead, the lubricants sector holds immense potential amidst the ongoing energy transition. Key factors driving future demand include a rapidly growing global population, changing consumer habits, and within this landscape a lubes sector supporting it all with greater efficiency, emissions reduction, waste reduction, and embracing new energy systems. 

During the ICIS Base Oils and Lubricants Conference 2024, Artis Brown, ExxonMobil VP for Base Oils & Waxes, highlighted the need for innovations in viscosity, volatility reduction, re-refined base stocks, bio feedstocks, and technologies to lower greenhouse gas emissions, thereby minimising the sector’s carbon footprint. 

It was great to hear arguments supported by data to show a robust future for the lubricants sector that will evolve, develop and challenge those who choose to work in the lubricants industry.

ABN Resource talking about Supply Chain Resilience at Lube Expo North America

Are you coming to the first North America Lube Expo between 19-21 March, in Detroit? It’s free to join ABN Resource Founder and Director James Moorhouse, as he talks about how to build resilient teams and tackle the people supply chain in a panel session at 2 pm on 19th March. You can also meet Colorado-based Terre Christensen at the expo, to explore exciting career opportunities and discuss how we can support your recruitment needs with our USA and European teams. Schedule your meeting now.

Lubricants & Fuels Jobs: Opportunities Await

Looking for a change or the next step in your career? Check out the latest job openings in the lubricants and fuels sector:

  • General Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • District Sales Manager
  • Business Development Manager (x2)  
  • Regional Manager APAC
  • Base Oil Trader


Your next career move can be supported by ABN Resource, with 92% of placed candidates reporting we got them a “dream job” and 85% of them stay working with the company we place people at for 7 years +. 

Check all our advertised jobs, here.

And please note, that some searches remain confidential and are not advertised. If you are in Leadership, Sales or Technical roles looking for €100k + salary jobs, get in touch with our team today.


Subscribe and stay tuned for more industry insights and updates in the upcoming editions of Beyond The Barrel.