Most oil companies shy away from using the term “environmentally friendly” for hydraulic fluids and other lubricants. That’s because no established standards or technical definitions exist to specify what criteria a fluid must meet in order to be environmentally friendly. Companies agree, however, that a fluid’s effects on the environment deal with its toxicity and biodegradability.

A fluid’s toxicity often is referenced to ASTM standards that relate to a substance’s toxic effects on rainbow trout. Specific guidelines are used, including the substance’s concentration in the water, duration, etc. However, officials at Castrol Offshore, with US headquarters in Houston, point out that oceans account for the overwhelming majority of the world’s water supply. Therefore, a fluid’s effect on salt water environments would be more appropriate.

Also, gauging a fluid’s toxicity on rainbow trout limits results to a single species. Castrol officials point out that toxicity should be evaluated on sensitive sea life, especially life forms that are low on the food chain. This is because any toxic substances absorbed by life low on the food chain will be consumed by animals higher in the food chain.

Responsible, not just legal
Castrol Offshore recently responded to these environmental needs by introducing Castrol Green- Field, an innovative range of environmentally responsible products designed to help the worldwide offshore industry reduce its environmental impact.

Castrol GreenField is the offshore industry’s most comprehensive range of “environmentally responsible” lubricants and control fluids. These products are vital to the reliable operation of numerous offshore applications on mobile offshore drilling units, fixed, floating, and subsea production facilities, supply boats and specialist support vessels.

Castrol Offshore’s strategy director Tony Globe says “Castrol Offshore has launched a comprehensive range of products providing a solution for all applications where there is a risk of polluting the marine environment. Castrol GreenField brings together our environmental expertise and performance record to create a range which has significantly reduced environmental impact. These products do not compromise performance and are easy to retrofit.

Susannah Linington, Castrol Offshore’s environmental specialist adds, “The management and control of pollution from offshore operations has taken on a higher priority as governments focus increasingly on protecting the environment. Stricter legislation exposes companies to stiff penalties and loss of reputation. The offshore industry should not simply react to authorities’ requirements but take the lead in minimizing damage to the marine environment. For responsible companies, complying with environmental laws is a minimum requirement. They go further, however, in adopting pioneering environmental solutions as a standard part of ethical business.”

Castrol GreenField products are designed to keep ahead of these legislative trends and provide the industry with innovative environmental lubrication solutions for their offshore operations. To enable this, Castrol has taken some of the world’s most stringent environmental legislation as the basis for its environmental product development program.

This new range of hydraulic fluids, gear oils, specialist lubricants, greases, and subsea control fluids has been scientifically proven to have significantly reduced environmental impact compared with conventional products. In key offshore locations environmental legislation affecting the industry has increased significantly during the past decade. This trend is expected to continue as more legislation comes into force and as the global offshore industry continues to expand into new frontiers, including new deepwater areas and environmentallysensitive zones such as the Arctic.

For more information, call Castrol Offshore at (800) 339- 7157 or visit www.castroloffshore.com.