Cetane rating of MOBIL - SPECIAL DIESEL AT 7-11 STORES

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 10:41
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Does anyone know the cetane rating of this fuel?

Cannot find it on internet so far. Mobil website states 10% ethanol for it's special unleaded but does not give you either a % or cetane rating for it's special diesel.

The reason I am asking is my new (secondhand) Hyundai requires a diesel cetane rating of 52-54 and the car was filled at the time of pick up with Mobil - special diesel. As the fuel tank goes down, a slight "stutter", for want of a better word, is evident as it is cruising along on the flat with a steady throttle.

I suspect fuel is the issue. It recently had a new fuel filter fitted and no problems until the fuel level started to drop. My suspicion is the cetane rating of special diesel is far too low for my car and I certainly won't be re-filling with it.

Anyone know what the rating is?

True Blue

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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 11:23

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 11:23
True Blue, The Cetane rating in Australia is legislated. All fuel suppliers must meet this standard. I can tell you that the Australian standard is 46 minimum. This is the same standard as that used in Europe & the UK.

I can also tell you that the big 4 Oil companies in Australia (Mobil, BP, Caltex, Shell) mostly source their fuel from the same locations, either the Refineries in Australia, or Singapore. As an example, in Melbourne, Mobil, Caltex & BP are supplied by either the Mobil or Shell Refineries in Melbourne & Geelong, or BP's Refinery at Kwinana in W.A. In Mobil & BP's case, all the Diesel comes from the same tanks at the Yarraville Terminal, and are loaded through the same loading arms in the truck fill stand.

The so called "Special Diesels" contain additives that reduce foaming when pumping, and detergents to clean fuel systems & reduce harmful emissions. These additives do not lower the Cetane rating of Diesel. Special Diesel is actually better for your vehicle than "normal" diesel as it will clean the injectors & valves.

IMHO, I would suggest that the problem is not with the Special Diesel whether it be Mobil, Caltex, BP or Shell. It is more likely to be either vehicle specific (problem with either engine or fuel system/tank), or with the service station tank where you filled up.

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Follow Up By: True Blue - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 12:18

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 12:18
Many thanks Macca.

That's great information and very much appreciated.

I'm hoping it is nothing serious and sorts itself out with the next fill.

Wayne (True Blue)

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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 12:22

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 12:22
True Blue
If the problem doesn't exist when near full but does after an amount of fuel has been used from the tank, it has nothing to do with the fuel as it runs ok when full.

For instance, if the tank intake breather isn't easily letting air into the tank it is harder for the fuel system to draw fuel from the tank. Maybe it is the filler cap valve which is at fault. Try runnng with it loose to check.

The airflow meter in the exit of the airbox may be dirty and not properly measuing airflow amount. Check and clean that seeing it is secondhand.
You may have a split in the air intake hose to the turbo.

Even though the log book is stamped and looks correct, "gotta love dealers", it is not a guarantee that any or all services have ever been done properly or competently. Books can be convincing liars.

A fuel filter, IF running the engine at high speed and fuel demand, is never the cause of problems at lower speeds. It is just a fact that everyone talks about and is trained from birth to think "fuel filter" when it is rarely a problem.
If a filter is a problem it usually reduces flow or allows system destroying crap to enter fuel system. If it runs ok in most ranges then it isn't the filter.

A code reader should be attached to the OBD port to see if any codes are present and then that may guide you to a fault area.
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Follow Up By: True Blue - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:21

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:21
Thanks RMD. I am now beginning to feel worried, but your response is much appreciated. I have a workshop manual on the way for the car, so I will be looking at all your suggestions. Hoping it is a relatively easy fix and not something more sinister.

cheers Wayne
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Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 12:41

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 12:41
As Macca says, the cetane and octane ratings in fuels sold in Australia are legislated under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000.


Mobil is reluctant to advise the cetane rating of its diesel (you have to email them), and you can guarantee it only just meets the minimum cetane specification.
Caltex cheerfully admit their diesel is only 46 cetane rating, Shell is 49 cetane, and BP is 51 cetane.

Biodiesel blends have a higher cetane rating with 51 cetane as the minimum. However, be aware that not all vehicle manufacturers will allow the use of biodiesel in their engines - you need to check your manual.

The Asians have been building a lot of new, very large, low-cost, and efficient refineries in recent years, with Singapore leading the way.

The Singaporeans doubled the capacity of their petroleum refinery via the massive expansion of Exxon Mobil’s Singapore Chemical Plant in 2014.

Around 60% of our ready-refined petroleum fuels are imported directly from Singaporean, South Korean, and Japanese refineries.

These fuels are refined to Australian Fuel Standards and each shipment is tested upon arrival for compliance to the FQSA.

The volume of imported fuels varies from month to month, according to market conditions and demand.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum website provides every detail you need to know about petroleum fuels sold in Australia - particularly the section marked "Downstream Petroleum".


The greatest single source of problems with diesel and petrol fuels dispensed from service stations, is fuel contamination caused by the following:

1. Flooding resulting in water and sediment contamination entering vent valves and poorly-sealed tank caps, in underground tanks.

Newer tank constructions have elevated vent valves - older tanks have vents in pits at the same level as the fill points.
These low-level vents are highly susceptible to the ingress of floodwaters.

Bowsers have fuel filtering fitted, but they normally only filter to 10 or 20 microns, thus there is still the ability of water and contaminants to find their way into your fuel tank.
Sediment buildup, over a number of years, is a major problem in underground fuel tanks.

2. Unscrupulous service station lessees adding cheaply-acquired volatile petroleum chemicals to their tanks, to "water down" the fuel and to improve their margins.

Quite common in previous years - not quite so prevalent today due to the current high margins on fuel sales - currently around 10c to 14c (usual margins are 2c to 3c) - and an increased scrutiny by fuel inspectors as regards fuel dilution or thinning.

By far the greatest source of motorists complaints is contaminated fuel - and oil companies pay out regularly on cases where contaminated fuel has damaged engines. Thus, it pays to keep all fuel receipts.

It is not unknown for fuel contamination to occur when fuels are accidentally mixed by oil company employees, such as tanker drivers or depot employees.

I have had a country depot operator tell me (quite a number of years ago, before the FQSA) how he accidentally mixed a very sizeable volume of petrol and diesel in his storage tanks.

He didn't throw the contaminated mixture out, he just blended it with a larger quantity of new fuel, to reduce the contamination levels to an acceptable standard.

Another interesting scenario is how the oil companies move different petroleum products from refineries or ships, to their storage facilities, that are often many kms away - they utilise "blocks" of water, in the pipeline to separate the various different petroleum products!

The water is filtered out before the next (different fuel) shipment is pumped through. Hopefully, they get all the water!

Note that there is also an allowance for water content in fuels, in the FQSA!
This is simply due to condensation, which forms water inside tanks, when air is admitted, as the tank fuel level is lowered.

There's nothing can be done about condensation in tanks, it's just something we have to accept, and ensure than tank drainage and filtering systems are effective.

Regards, Ron.

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Follow Up By: True Blue - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:22

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:22
Thanks for the information Ron.
Some extraordinary stuff there.

many thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - john y - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 21:57

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 21:57
Ron, always keen to read your keen insights. A question I would ask is how do you know that the fuel available at a branded outlet is actually that particular brand of fuel?. the reason I ask is that a local outlet sells diesel under their own brand but also own outlets of which one operates under the BP banner yet their price is consistently cheaper than most other BP outlets.As I understand it there are other companies that own multi branded sites

regards john y
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 23:28

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 23:28
John - That really is the $64 question. We have virtually no way of knowing what fuel brand we are buying at multi-branded or independent sites.
Depending on who owns the servo and tanks, it could be from any source - or it could be from the oil company whose name is most prominent on the site.

The independent fuel outlets today are decreasing, under pressure from the oil companies.
The only ones that are surviving are those independents who own their own bulk storage facilities - so they can order in entire tanker loads from overseas, and pump the tanker load straight into their independent storage facilities.

The oil companies have a stranglehold on bulk fuel storage facilities, and it takes serious money to install them, and serious money again, to be able to order a tanker load of refined fuel.

The Govt and various authorities are greatly concerned about the lack of bulk fuel storage within Australia, and want to do something about increasing it substantially, for strategic purposes - but they are stonewalled by the oil companies, who want the amount of bulk storage limited to basically what they currently own - and the small amount of independent bulk storage.

This gives the oil companies greatly-increased control over fuel supplies - and accordingly, pricing.

There are a number of leaders in industry and Defence who have pointed out that our current bulk fuel storage only holds enough for 90 days supply for the whole of Australia - and in the event of War or a Natural Disaster, resulting in a disruption to the refined fuels supply chain, we could end up in deep manure, with inadequate fuel supplies to run the country.

There has been inquiry after inquiry, into price manipulation by the oil companies (as we can see right now, where petroleum fuels should be at least 10c litre cheaper) - but every inquiry is stonewalled, frustrated and obstructed, by the oil companies various levels of opaqueness in pricing and supply methods, used by them.

There have been plenty of instances where a major supplier such as BP, Caltex or Mobil has refused to supply fuel to independent operators who are cutting prices - below what was generally agreed upon, of course.

Independents are slowly being squeezed out of the retail industry, with oil companies building bigger and better servos, on more prominent, high traffic sites.

The servo operators are only lessees in probably 98% of cases - and the oil companies are notorious for imposing crushing leasing rates, and other "associated costs" onto lessees.

Little different to the big shopping centres, I guess. Plenty of profit for the big corporations, very little profit for the "small man" at the pointy end of the business.

There has been a major push into fuel retailing within Australia by the "independent" Puma Energy group - because our retail profit margins on fuel are huge, by world standards.
Puma currently operate about 2500 servos world wide, as I understand.

However, Puma is only part of another huge Global Corporation - the Singapore-based Trafigura, and the Angolan Sonangol Group - who operate across 5 continents and 47 countries.

Puma has been buying up our independent fuel retailers as fast as they can - to eliminate competition, of course - so, as fuel buyers, we will are still going to be held captive to high fuel prices, by just a handful of Global Corporations - the big oil companies, and corporations such as Trafigura and Sonangol.

Puma talk about "introducing competition" into Australia's fuel retailing - but I'll wager the discussions that go on in back rooms about just what prices they are going to agree on for fuel this week, include every Global Corporation involved in producing and retailing petroleum products.

Puma becomes largest "independent" fuel retailer in Australia

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 10:01

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 10:01
I meant to mention that at one time, you could see who was delivering fuel to any particular servo, by the "branded", oil company-owned fuel tanker, that arrived to refill the underground tanks.

Nowadays, as part of the oil companys strategy to ensure opaqueness in fuel retailing, the oil companies (and even the "independent" fuel retailers) have disposed of all their own company-owned and branded fuel tankers, and employ Toll, under contract, to deliver their fuel supplies.

Thus, when a Toll tanker arrives to refill the tanks (usually very late at night, to avoid traffic congestion), you have no idea what brand of fuel is being transported by Toll - unless you've followed and tracked the tanker from the bulk storage depot, where it filled up!

Anyone can buy bulk fuel from any major fuel supplier, provided you have established an account with them and can arrange a fuel pickup with a certified and approved tanker.
There are a still a few independent fuel transporters around - mainly in remote and country areas - they haven't all been wiped out by Toll - but no doubt Toll would like to see them gone, too.

On the AIP website, there is a page dedicated to "Terminal Gate Pricing". This TGP is the average price paid for bulk fuel by servo operators, or by anyone purchasing fuel in bulk, such as big farmers.

The difference between the TGP and the retail price at your servo is an indicator of the current profit margin enjoyed by the fuel retailers and servo owners.

At the present moment - probably due to extensive corporate manipulation - the retail profit margin on fuel is about 5 times the historical average.

Part of this manipulation is the "grab" by oil companies for better control of the retail market, by establishing their own servos, which are merely run for them, under a skinny contract, by lessees.

The oil company owns the land, and builds the brand-new, big flash, "branded" servo, and squeezes out the independent retailer who owns his own servo, by undercutting them when it suits them.

Terminal Gate Pricing

What I find interesting, is the fact that currently, there is virtually no difference in the TGP between petrol and diesel prices - they are within a cent a litre of each other.

But for years, we were told diesel cost a lot more to refine, so it was a "premium" fuel, and therefore cost 20c a litre more at the bowser. What a load of hogwash.

When I first started in business in 1966, diesel was exactly half the price of petrol, because, we were told then, it took less effort in the refining process, to produce it!

There's no end to the deviousness and manipulative processes employed by oil companies, to ensure we get ripped off at every turn!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - abqaiq - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 12:12

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 12:12
From previous-- "Another interesting scenario is how the oil companies move different petroleum products from refineries or ships, to their storage facilities, that are often many kms away - they utilise "blocks" of water, in the pipeline to separate the various different petroleum products!"

Actually the products are sent down the pipeline one after the other (NO WATER) and the interface is detected (tapering from one product to another). When the point of changed specification is determined the line is switched to the lesser spec tank (automatically in a modern bulk plant (truck loading terminal).Typically the products are aligned with the most critical, say jet fuel. behind a cleaning plug (gasoline typically)/scraper then on to kerosene and diesel.

I have 30+ years experience in refining, pipeline and bulk plant design for reference.

Interesting to note that a Australian Defense Department study indicates that there is usually only a 30 day supply of liquid fuel (diesel and gasoline. combined) on hand in Australia with perhaps 14 days supply inbound on chartered tankers. Nobody really knows as there is no centralized reporting point and antiquated manual tank measuring systems are common. By comparison Saudi Aramco (the worlds biggest petroleum company) knows the product volume in each tank continuously to within a few liters in finished product tanks and a few barrels in the 1.5 Mbbl crude oil tanks. .
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 12:51

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 12:51
Abqaiq - Thanks for the update on fuel pipeline transport! My information is obviously dated, and the process has definitely changed since the 1970's!

I have seen the "fuel reserves" storage numbers bandied around, with substantial variations in the number of days of fuel in storage.
No doubt, it's not an easy number to calculate, as its reliant on input from fuel users, which can be quite variable.

The fuel rationing saga of WW2 makes for fascinating reading, and shows, how even back then, with a much lower level of vehicle ownership, fuel rationing and supplies impacted on the nation, in many far-reaching ways - a lot of which were unexpected and unforeseen.

In the dark days of early WW2, the problem of adequate fuel supplies and reserves became a major Govt obsession, with initial fuel rationing being regarded as inadequate.

Further fuel rationing made life more difficult for everyone in Australia, and later on, it was realised the rationing was too strict, so it was relaxed a little.

However, the British Govt had a very large say in our fuel supplies, even after the War ended - and right up until 1949, fuel was still being rationed - largely due to British Govt pressure.

Petrol rationing during WW2

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - abqaiq - Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 13:11

Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 13:11
Further notes on supply and pricing--
The Government has apparently signed an international agreement along with many others to hold a 90 day supply on hand (landed) but from the Defense report it appears that has never actualized..

Regarding refining of products:
In the old days diesel came off the distillation column with high sulfur content, maybe 500 ppm S, finished=simple. Then the push for low sulfur diesel as a pollution abatement came, requiring S to be about 10 ppm (depending on country specifications). How to get the sulfur out build a diesel hydrotreater unit and S recovoery plant. DHT unit ~300+ M $ US then S recovery unit another ~150 M+ $ US. Somebody has to pay for those, plus the needed additive (maybe a build chemical plant to produce that or buy in) to make the new diesel as slippery as the old (the sulfur did the lubrication in the past). Somebody, the end user needs to pay for all that so up goes the end price.

I should note that current "regular" gasoline may have up to 150 ppm S compared to Low Sulfur Diesel!
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Follow Up By: Steve - Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 18:59

Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 18:59
So Ron, something I struggle to get my head around; when these Toll tankers do their nocturnal cruising, do they deliver both BP Ultimate and Metro diesel? In fact, do they have specific deliveries for eg BP Ultimate? and a different tanker for Metro?
Separate question: outside of BP, Shell, Caltex and Mobil, are Metro, United, 7-11 etc an inferior quality?
Don’t have a local Ultimate supplier but wouldn’t mind giving it a go.
Any enlightenment gratefully received ;/
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 01:24

Saturday, Mar 03, 2018 at 01:24
Steve, Toll is contracted to the major oil companies for fuel delivery.
Metro have their own "buying group" called Metro & Co - plus their own fleet of tankers.

Metro obviously do deals to buy fuel on the spot market - meaning the fuel could come from any one of the major-oil-company-owned bulk storage facilities in that state, or adjoining state - or from independent fuel suppliers bulk storage facilities.


Mobil is part of the global ExxonMobil group, and owns and operates the Altona refinery.

Mobil state on their website - "Around 90 percent of (Altona) products are transported by pipeline from the (Altona) refinery to our Yarraville Terminal and other nearby oil company distribution terminals".

Note - "other oil company distribution terminals". Who knows who that is??

Mobil is certainly being very obtuse, about who they supply with refined fuel - as well as being obtuse about the cetane rating of their diesel.

Mobil also claim that their fuels are "transported (by tanker, from Yarraville) throughout Victoria, and into parts of South Australia, and New South Wales".

Altona refinery operations

7-11 claim to have an agreement with Mobil for fuel supplies. Funny, I can't get my head around that one.

Mobil withdrew their presence from fuel retailing in W.A. several years ago - but we have new 7-11 service stations going up here in W.A. regularly! - and there's a Mobil-branded servo at Muchea (just North of Perth), that Mobil Australia brag about on their website?

Yet, I know that this is actually a BP servo? Strange things happen in this fuel-retailing world.

7-11 announces fuel supply deal with Mobil

Caltex operated two refineries in Australia - Kurnell in NSW and Lytton in QLD.

Kurnell closed in 2014 and the site was converted into a large bulk terminal for refined fuel imports.

Caltex seem to pretty intent on becoming convenience store owners selling fuel as a sideline, rather than an oil company and refiner selling fuel with convenience stores as a sideline.

I guess we have something to be grateful for - Caltex Australia is now actually 100% Australian-owned!

The Caltex site tells us zilch about their fuels or who they supply - but they can tell us about their great food-retailing plans!

Caltex Australia

Caltex - Wikipedia

Caltex is the authorised supplier to Woolworths servos - but Woolworths are getting out of fuel retailing shortly, which is going to lead to a whole new round of pea-and-thimble games.

I fully expect the majority of Woolies servos will become Caltex servos, if they can hammer out a deal.

Puma is a whole new ball game again.
They cheerfully acknowledge they work "in partnership" with "BP, Caltex and Shell" - "as well as a broader range of small, medium, and large resellers"!!

Puma Energy - our brands

So if you go to a Puma servo, your fuel could come from anywhere??

United Petroleum are a national independent group, with multiple servos in every state of the nation, plus a sizeable number of bulk storage facilities.

United state, "Control of (our own) terminal facilities has allowed us to seek high quality petroleum products, not only from refineries within our shores, but also via the importation of bulk tanker-loads."

Result? United sell fuel from any of the big oil company brands, or directly-imported, ready-refined fuels from Singaporean, South Korean or Japanese refineries.

United Petroleum - about us

Royal Dutch Shell actually sold out of Australia a few years back. They sold their Australian operations to a company called Vitol.

Vitol describes itself as "the world’s largest independent energy and commodities trading company".

Vitol trade in Australia under the name "Viva Energy" - and surprise, surprise -
Shell let them use their name on the fuel products that Viva/Vitol sell!
Viva cheerfully announce on their site that they are a "Shell licencee" (whatever that entails).

Viva Energy

Viva state - "(Our) network is supported by 20 fuel import and storage terminals and the Geelong Refinery, owned by Viva Energy Australia".

So Viva admit they import (refined) fuel - as well as being a Shell licensee, and also producing fuel from Geelong (reportedly, Victoria's biggest and most complex refinery).

Viva Energy - working with us

BP are more straightforward. They own Kwinana Refinery in W.A. - the biggest and newest refinery in Australia.

Thus, BP have the W.A. market pretty solidly in their back pocket. Where else are ya gonna go for your fuel, if you're stuck in W.A.? LOL

BP not only refine fuel from oil - they do oil and gas exploration - they own oil wells, natural gas reserves, their own oil tankers, tanker trucks, and multiple bulk storage facilities!

BP Australia

The "premium" fuels (BP Ultimate, Shell Vortex, Shell V-Power, etc) all have "additive packages" added to them, to improve their performance.
You generally pay extra for these fuels, accordingly.

The additives are usually a wide range of products, from detergents, to other volatile petroleum products generally from the naptha group - and even essential oils!

Fuel Additives

The bottom line is - the largest amount of fuel quality complaints stem from contaminated fuel - sourced from older service stations, run by independents.

These smaller and older servos have problems with aged storage facilities and low levels of fuel turnover - as well as poor levels of underground tank and bowser maintenance.

Choice - contaminated fuel leaves consumers with big bills

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 15:11

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 15:11
Phew... Thanks Ron;)

So.... Surely BP aren't sending their tankers from WA to the eastern states? Which begs the obvious question, where is it coming from and is it actually BP or BP Ultimate that we're getting?
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 21:06

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 21:06
Hi Steve - Unfortunately, the simple answer is - if you're buying BP fuel on the East Coast, it simply isn't necessarily, fuel from BP!

Every major oil company and every major fuel distributor has "arrangements" with nearly every other major oil company, and other fuel distributors, for supply and distribution arrangements.

BP own the Newcastle bulk storage terminal - but that terminal is not supplied with BP fuel refined at Kwinana - remember, BP also own a fleet of oil tanker ships - so they ship refined fuel in from overseas to Newcastle.

However - Caltex can also supply the BP Newcastle bulk terminal from Botany!
So, BP can buy fuel off Caltex, if required, to resupply their Newcastle bulk terminal.

Now, to add more twist to the convoluted saga - Mobil buy their fuel from the BP Newcastle bulk terminal!
There are also three bulk fuel terminals in the Eastern States, owned by a global corporation - Stolthaven. These three Stolthaven bulk terminals are at Port Alma in QLD, Newcastle, and West Melbourne.

I am not sure who utilises all the Stolthaven terminals - but Mobil utilise the Newcastle Stolthaven bulk terminal - which is quite likely filled with imported, refined fuel, from BP oil tankers!

BP Newcastle bulk terminal - Mobil access

Stolthaven Bulk Terminals

If you really want to do your head in, there is a link below to a Govt report - "Petroleum import infrastructure in Australia", prepared for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

Unfortunately, the report was done in 2009, and a few things have changed since then (terminals closed) - but the basic system of fuel sales and distribution arrangements haven't changed a great deal in the last 9 years.

Pages 14 to 18 of the report outline just some of the fuel supply arrangements in place back then - and it's rather eye-opening, just how oil companies and importers/distributors, who are supposed to be in highly competitive opposition - work hand in glove at all times, in a, "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" arrangement!

Petroleum Import Infrastructure in Australia

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - john y - Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 21:57

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 21:57
Congrats Ron N on some very informative posts Also thanks to the other posters . It is certainly refreshing to see the Forum produce such a quality information session Regards john y
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Follow Up By: Steve - Monday, Mar 05, 2018 at 14:04

Monday, Mar 05, 2018 at 14:04
Thanks for that, Ron. I knew a bit of mutual back scratching went on but that is an eye opener. Much appreciated and answered my questions as well as can be expected, given the mysterious manoeuvres.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 05, 2018 at 14:49

Monday, Mar 05, 2018 at 14:49
Steve, the Petroleum Import Infrastructure report, describes fuel mixing in terminals, between imported and locally-refined fuels.

The report describes "generic" fuels in the bulk terminals - sort of like Woolies "Home brand" and Coles "Select" brand, I guess! LOL

It's pretty obvious the oil companies, importers, and refiners, all consider "fuel to be fuel", in the basic fuel grades - because it's been refined to meet Australian specifications, so there's essentially no difference in where it comes from.

However, the "premium" fuels are different - because if you notice, the bulk terminal operators, as well as the refineries, offer "additive package" blending as part of their services.

So, we can immediately see that there are fuels that have additives added to them, to improve their performance - and this is done after the fuel is refined to Australian standards by the local refineries - and it can obviously be done to imported, refined fuels as well, by the bulk terminal operators.

I would guess these "additive packages" convert regular grade fuels into the premium diesel brands, and into the higher octane petrol grades.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:17

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:17
Cant tell you the rating of this fuel however get your hands on BP Ultimate Diesel which achieves your required rating and has a cleaning agent as well. usually 2 cents per litre dearer and not available at every BP outlet so use their Fuel Locator to check the nearest outlet near you
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Follow Up By: True Blue - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:24

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:24
Thanks TerraFirma. I have a BP dealer fairly close by which does have Ultimate diesel, so thank you, that is a great suggestion and will do so.

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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:30

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 13:30
Hi Wayne, Your mechanical issues could be a few things. I don't think the change in diesel alone will fix. You may have gotten some water in your fuel? Are there any smoke symptoms? The colour of smoke if so helps.
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Reply By: Erad - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 16:41

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 16:41
True Blue:
Your issues sound more like a vehicle specific fault rather than a problem with the fuel. As the fuel level goes down, the fuel pump has to suck more. If you have a slight air leak (air leaks into a vacuum situation are notoriously difficult to locate), this could be when the problem arises. Fill it up and you over come the problem.

Another source could be a pre-filter - if your car has one. Same thing - when the level gets lower, the pump has to suck harder and the incoming pressure drops.

The fuel pump typically pumps heaps more fuel than what the engine needs at any given time. What is not needed is returned to the fuel tank. Unlike a petrol engine, a blocked filter (unless it is REALLY blocked) will not show up under heavy engine loads, so I would end to discard that as a problem at this stage.

Answers? Look at the pip connections from the tank to the fuel pump. If they are OK, look at the pre-filter (inside the tank) to see if it is blocked.
AnswerID: 617223

Follow Up By: True Blue - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 16:58

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 16:58
Thanks Erad. I will check those fuel lines and filters. great suggestion.
Much appreciated.

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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 18:01

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 18:01
The difference in the full or half tank in head height pressure is very very small and therefore will not change much over the whole tank use.
I cannot see how that would make the fuel pump suck harder at all. It is sucking the same all the time.
If it has an intank electric pump it will be delivering all the time to the filters and fuel regulator, if it hasn't got one on tank then the lift pump in the rear of the high pressure fuel pump is doing the transport of fuel from the tank.
If a lift pump variety it always has a negative pressure in the line and through the filters.
A filter if blocked WILL show up under heavy load as that is when there is most demand for flow through the filter, not less.
With cruising,ie light load the fuel demand is low so even a partially restricted filter will easily allow enough fuel for that situation.
FollowupID: 888815

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 23:33

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 at 23:33
The terminology is confusing, and I'm certainly guilty of getting this confused!
The Australian standard is a Cetane INDEX of greater than 46.
A Cetane INDEX of 46 equates to a Cetane NUMBER of 51. They are not the same thing. And when people say Cetane rating, I have no idea what they mean.
My Landcruiser requires a Cetane NUMBER of greater than 48, so all Australian fuel is OK. Look up your Hyundai manual - I'm guessing it specifies a Cetane NUMBER.
And out of interest, BP Ultimate is typically a Cetane INDEX of 52, so is well in excess of the minimum.
AnswerID: 617236

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 00:39

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 00:39
Phil, Cetane RATING is used interchangeably with Cetane NUMBER in many countries or regions. It certainly is confusing.

The Cetane NUMBER is a measure of the ignition quality of a diesel fuel - nothing else.

There are several other variable factors affecting diesels ability to burn rapidly and effectively.
Those variables are - the fuels energy content, its density, its lubricity, its cold-flow properties, and its sulphur level.

Cetane Number measuring does not take into account these other variables.

Measurement of the Cetane Number requires burning the diesel in a Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) engine, under standard test conditions.

The CFR engine is a single cylinder, fuel test engine, first produced by Waukesha in 1928 - and still in use today.

The CFR engine has a cylinder head and sleeve arrangement allowing for compression ratio adjustments, "on the run".

The compression ratio of the CFR engine is increased until the fuel ignites with a delay of approx 2.4 milliseconds between injection and ignition.

Once the specific compression ratio is known, the same experiment is repeated with a mixture of cetane (hexadecane) and isocetane (2,2,4,4,6,8,8-heptamethylnonane) which will result in the same ignition delay.

Accordingly, variations in the fuels energy content, density, lubricity, cold-flow properties, sulphur content - and fuel-improving additives, added to it - will all affect the performance of that particular fuel - even though its Cetane Number has been measured.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 888829

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 21:05

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 21:05
Ron, a very good point, what BP claim is a Cetane number, and not a Cetane Rating. BP in Melbourne, Adelaide & Brisbane load their diesel from the same tanks as Mobil. The Terminals in these cities are joint venture terminals operated by each other. Therefore the Cetane Rating is the same as that of Mobil. I have 35 years experience in the Petroleum Industry. I was the Fuels Terminal Operations Manager at the Yarraville Terminal for 5 years. I was also the Product Supply Planner for Vic. Tas. & the N.T. so I can speak with some authority on this issue.
Water interfaces on fuels product pipelines between the Altona Refinery & the Yarraville Terminal have not been used since at least 1980. Diesel & Gasoline run down seperate pipelines, so there is no cross contamination/interface. When unloading bulk fuel from ship tankers at Yarraville Terminal, product interfaces are carefully monitored, and are directed to a “slop” tank.
The Mobil branded service stations in W.A. are supplied from the B.P. Refinery at Kwinana, again from the same tanks.

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Follow Up By: maurice b - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2018 at 22:47

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2018 at 22:47
Thanks Macca. Out of curiousity . In Brisbane and Gold Coast I see signs on 7/11 bowsers stating they use Mobile petrolum's . Would this mean the diesel is the same as BP Ultima, as I assume it would be standard diesel .
FollowupID: 889070

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2018 at 23:40

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2018 at 23:40
Maurice - Mobil acquire diesel refined to Australian Fuel Standard (Automotive Diesel) Determination 2001 (as amended) - and then add a "proprietary" additive to it (described only as a "detergent additive", to produce Mobil Special Diesel.
Mobil have a supply agreement in place with 7-11 (see previous posting 888907), and 7-11 retail precisely the same diesel as sold at Mobil servos.

BP "Ultimate" is an exclusive product of BP, and once again, is regular diesel with a "proprietary additive package" added to it, by BP, or by the refinery or terminal where BP acquire their diesel. (additive information from BP Ultimate MSDS sheet).

BP still sell "regular" diesel without any additive package. Both Mobil Special Diesel and BP Ultimate Diesel are designed to provide a cleaning action in fuel systems and injectors, to reduce and remove deposits.

Both companies claim improvements in fuel economy of around 2.8% to 3.8%, with Mobil Special Diesel and BP Ultimate Diesel, confirmed by "tests carried out".

None of the companies provide any verifiable independent test results to back up their claims - and reports from users of these fuels indicate that they fail to see any measureable increase in fuel economy.

There could be an improvement in fuel system cleanliness with the Special Diesel and the Ultimate, but it would take disassembly of the engines fuel systems components to actually see that.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 889073

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Mar 08, 2018 at 08:44

Thursday, Mar 08, 2018 at 08:44
Phil, Ron has covered it pretty well. Basically, both Mobil & BP Diesel are identical except for the proprietary additives that are added during the loading process into the road tanker. As I retired prior to “special” diesel being introduced into the market, I cannot tell you if they use the same additive as each other. I can tell you that both companies use the same additive in their 95 PULP, so it is possible that the additive they use in their “special” diesel is also the same as each other. These additives are injected into the product at the loading rack as the road tanker is being loaded.


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Reply By: Member - DOZER - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 18:07

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 18:07
very informative posts, here in wollongong i know of a BP owner who also ownes an independant station 100m down the road. Would he order 2 tankers? dont think so...The independant is always 4 cents cheaper....the fuel there is pretty good, so i use it over the BP branded fuel. it doesnt smoke at all like industrial diesel...but other independants in wollongong, you can see the smoke with the reverse camera.....so all independants are not getting thesame fuel... Woolworths and enhance and 7/11 usually have the green fuel, enhance and 7/11 calls theirs premium diesel....it seems to run ok, my guess is its all imported. Remember, it was BP that stuffed up the gulf of Mexico.....and the brand bannor on the BP signs is the rising sun, so im guessing they are all owned by the Arabs
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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AnswerID: 617492

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Mar 12, 2018 at 09:39

Monday, Mar 12, 2018 at 09:39
Here is a real test of BP ultimate diesel carried out by Lindsay Transport. Guess the sprinkles they put in the fuel work.

I use mobil unleaded in my road car for the last few years and have had no problems at all and fuel consumption has been good. In my 4x4 I use vortex diesel as I get it at a really good price and if I have a problem with the fuel it can be tracked.

Felt for old mate at a truck stop this morning. Of all things he was driving a 9900I Eagle and he ran out of fuel just short of the bowsers, he had been there since 7.30 last night as he didn't seem to have success bleeding it. So, I guess the sprinkles didn't do him any good.

BP ultimate test results
AnswerID: 617502

Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 12, 2018 at 10:02

Monday, Mar 12, 2018 at 10:02
Here's a good servo to avoid for the next 12 months - BP Ingham - along with any others, where floodwaters have covered the servo driveway or surrounding areas.

Servo under serious amounts of floodwater

Underground fuel tanks that have been inundated should all be emptied and thoroughly flushed to remove water and sediment. But how many times have you actually seen that done??

The truth is the servo owners are quite happy to fill the tanks again and keep pumping, relying on settlement and filters on the bowsers to stop the sediment and water from being picked up by the pumps.

Filling up right after a tanker has unloaded is a big No-No. The rapid filling of the tanks disturbs the sediment and water and sends it all through the new load of fuel.

In these days of common-rail diesels, with their picky need to have ultra-clean fuel at all times, filling up at dodgy low-lying servo's - particularly ones with old tanks - is a real risk.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 617503

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Mar 12, 2018 at 16:29

Monday, Mar 12, 2018 at 16:29
Ron, the servo in Ingham get regularly flooded every few. I don't know what they do about he tanks after these events, i would think they would test the bottom of the tanks for water and pump it out or they would have some very unhappy locals chasing their tails.

I like the modern bunded above ground tanks as they don't have to be dipped because of a sight glass ad the tank is also inside the outer bund wall reducing condensation.
FollowupID: 889174

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 13:50

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 13:50
9900Eagle, Above ground tanks have their own issues. They sit in the sun and therefore heat up. A certain amount of "light ends" then vapourise out of the product through the tank vents. This venting of light ends can change the quality of the fuel. Underground tanks are not subject to these temperature changes, so are more likely to remain stable.

These days, underground storage tanks are usually fuel grade plastic or fibreglass, and are less likely to be subject to corrosion and leaks. They are also less likely to be flooded by water. If you look at the tank vents, they are usually several meters above ground.


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FollowupID: 889204

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 14:50

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 14:50
Thanks Macca, I have used above ground tanks for years and know all about condensation in them. If they are looked after and the water is drawn of the bottom I haven't seen a problem, as you know it is when they are not serviced they are dead.

I was talking about the newer style rectangular bunded tanks where the tank is surrounded by the bund walls so the temp remains more stable through the day. Again water siting in the bottom can be easily drained off.

I see many servos are gradually being upgraded to glass/ plastic tanks which is good to see.

I see you were tied up with fuel distribution so I have a question. Do servos have a maintenance schedule for their tanks.

FollowupID: 889209

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 15:40

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 15:40
9900Eagle, sorry I can't give you a definitive answer to that question, my role was in Fuel Distribution Terminals, not service stations. Having said that though, I can tell you that Mobil Oil Australia has extremely rigid maintenance schedules on underground tanks & pipe located within Bulk Fuel Terminals, so I would imagine something similar would apply to company owned service stations. Remember, not all branded service stations are "company" owned, many are privately owned & operated.

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FollowupID: 889213

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 18:33

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 18:33
Thanks Macca, I actually use mobil in our road town car, as we have it is a mobil branded station that has been refurbed with all new tanks. Don't know who owns it though.

With my diesel vehicle, I know and can prove where every litre of fuel has come from in case there are any problems, this also is the case for all the heavies I have driven. I use Caltex vortex diesel in my 4x4 as I get a good deal and have no hesitation using their products.

Thanks once again and this is from someone who has burnt a lot of diesel over the years,only had a filter problems a few times and that was a good few years ago. I remember some bad diesel getting around in the 80's but that related to it's burn quality a your truck just lost it's giddy up and go, you could also smell the crap when it burnt. Things have changed a lot since then it seems. Guess they still have stuff ups but catch the problem most times before it gets to the commercial market.
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