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Is something happening at Pennzoil?

I was thinking of using the new Pennzoil synthetic oil for my car, but when I went to get some, no one had it in the 0w20 grade. Since then I have noticed the stocks dwindling, the 5w20 is gone and there aren’t many 5w30 or 10w30 bottles left. It’s not just WalMart either. AutoZone, Advanced and O’Rielly’s are also in short supply.

Not a clue but interesting. The oil industry is being turned upside down so maybe the finance guys are thinking its not profitable anymore but I would think with the low cost of oil, there would be a bigger profit margin. I haven’t used Pennz for over 30 years though myself.

Royal Dutch Shell owns Pennzoil. It might be better to frame the question around that relationship.


I heard that the oil industry in the continental US has been laying off quite a few workers lately, BECAUSE of the low cost of oil

I’ll go a little off-topic now

In the past, I always saw a lot of people “jumping ship” to transfer to other industries. Such as the real estate business, when the economy was booming, before the bubble burst. Such as the oil industry.

Inevitably, when those industries slow down, somebody gets the axe :frowning:

Last hired, first fired . . . :neutral:

I’ll stick with long-term stability, versus short-term greed :smiley:

It’s hard to say. I live in the middle of the oil patch and as it usually goes the oil patch is boom or bust.
Three years ago the lights on drilling rigs could be seen everywhere at night and there was always oil field related traffic on the road. Most of the rigs are gone and the traffic has thinned out considerably; very considerably.

Many of the oil and gas companies here have been laying off people by the thousands. My new next door neighbor bought the house next to me a year ago and bailed out a few months back.
Luckily he found a buyer PDQ.
The neighbor just around the corner did not and is still on the hook for his place even though he’s long gone. Four BR brick immaculately maintained, 2 Bath, 1.5 acres, and a 2000 Sq Ft. shop building for 99k and no takers…


In my neck of the woods, 99k won’t even get you a dilapidated and bullet-ridden shack in the most gang-infested part(s) of town

In North Dakota during the boom, the leadership talked about the coming bust which they said will surely come. Still some of the companies are just hanging on throttling back for a while but not shutting down. Now it sounds like the Saudis are the ones have money problems.

I did a little googling on Pennz but didn’t find anything except the old issue of pennz creating varnish and sludge back in the 70’s and 80’s. Most of the defenders said it was all unsubstantiated and due to some issues that had been resolved. I used Pennz all my life with regular oil changes until the 80’s and I can substantiate my engines were all varnished up on the top end. Car engine or small engine, didn’t matter. So I quit and never looked back and now my engines look clean.

US has shut down about 2/3 of its drilling rigs, lots of smaller and some mid size bankruptcies. It’ll get worse before it gets better.

Try a 7-Eleven store. I went looking, and it turns out that Pennzoil has quite the convoluted history.

Yeah I looked at the history a little too and found out how out of touch I am concerning oil. Owned by Shell now and who knows where their oil in the bottles actually comes from anymore.

Have used either Quaker State or Pennzoil sine they were made with Pennsylvania grade crude, still do. Never had any sludging or varnish problems. Of course, where I live, it has never hit 100 degrees. Don’t know if that makes any difference. My 1972 8 hp snowblower is still going strong on it.

Yes the oil industry is down at the moment.
But does anyone believe it has anything to do with low stock of cans of Pennzoil oil in various retailers (perhaps only in a certain region)?

I’ve never used Pennzoil myself but my old standby, Castrol, is readily available almost everywhere.

If it has the ratings at a reasonable cost ,I use it , no problems so far .

I feel sorry for the oil workers that are losing their jobs. When oil is at $60 a BBL, it is economical to pump oil out of the ground, shale and tar sands in the US. When it’s at $28, not so much. If the Saudi’s want to maintain their long term sales, they may have decided to take a little short term pain to squash our oil industry. Add all the oil that’s going to start flowing from Iran to the mix and the price likely will drop further.

Cheap gas puts money in all our pockets. Great for those with a long commute. Great for truck and SUV sales, bad for hybrids.

Great for truck and SUV sales, bad for hybrids.

Hybrids are still viable…just takes longer to recoop the upfront cost.

In the past 15 years we seem to be going in 5 year cycles. If the pattern holds…then within 5 years gas prices will be back up over $4.

As for sludge with Pennsoil…that was very true when unleaded oil first hit the market. Engine temps rose by almost 200 degrees. Many oils including Pennsoil and Quakerstate had a hard time with it. I saw many sludged up engines with well under 50k miles and knowing that the oil was changed every 3k miles.

I didn’t say hybrids weren’t viable, just that their sales were bad.

Last year showed a decline in hybrid and electric car sales. As gas prices drop, the sales of these types of vehicles also drop. SUV’s and trucks are more profitable for automakers, so that’s a bonus for US jobs.

@oldtimer 11
"My 1972 8 hp snowblower is still going strong on it."

Having owned a couple snow blowers and several lawn mowers and lawn tractors (one of which I replaced a worn engine), let me give an observation and my conclusion.

For snow blowers, I too have an old 70s Toro 8hp snow blower (now moved to my Mother’s house), a small two-stage snapper, and a 13hp Ariens that I run sometimes for several ours at a time, several days a week. I have a long driveway and clear a large cul-de-sac that the huge county plow trucks can’t handle.

My snow blower engines go forever without developing any oil consumption issues with regular servicing. They have NO air filters from the factory and they are not needed.

The lawn equipment engines all wear after many years and consume some oil, even with good air filters and regular servicing.

Long ago I concluded that one environment has no dust or dirt and the other environment is full of blowing dust and dirt as evidenced by looking. The clean air that the snow blowers operate in makes all the difference.


I firmly believe that most US motorists are happiest in a mid-size or larger car, full-size truck or a large SUV

I also believe that a lot of people that buy small economical vehicles, including hybrids and evs, are doing so purely for economic reasons. Not because they’re truly happy driving those vehicles

I wonder if any studies could prove or disprove my “theories”

In any case, I’ll bet some of those people buying large trucks and large suvs right now have happily traded in their Prius or Volt for a brand spanking new loaded F150 or Suburban, for example

@db4690 I have no idea where you live, but clearly not in one of the big older cities. Driving around in urban places like the outer boroughs of New York, or Boston, or D.C., or Chicago, etc., is a very different experience than driving around in a newer city like Dallas or OKC or Los Angeles. The smaller cars and the alternate fuel cars are very useful when you have to fight for room, and to park, and to find a gas station. Putting a full size vehicle in a tight, urban parking lot will get you into a lot of bad situations.

Which has nothing to do with Pennzoil. Or with the Saudi effort to bankrupt the other middle east states that don’t agree with its political views.