For the first time ever, the Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) and the Opportunity Crudes conference, sponsored by Hydrocarbon Publishing, collaborated on their meetings to provide a rich and relevant time in Houston, October 9-13.
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Both conferences were held at the Westin Oaks in Houston with the Opportunity Crudes conference holding a Sunday afternoon session followed by all day meetings on Monday and Tuesday. Their presentations were grouped into five sessions including:
- Global Oil Market Volatility- Impacts and Implications for Refiners
- Insights and Unique Perspectives on Oil Trading & Exports/Impacts
- Robust Blending Strategies & Use of Internet of Things (IoT)
- Crude Management to Avoid Pitfalls of Changing Feedstocks
- Technology Flexibility to Meet Shifting Product Slates
The COQA activities were comprised of subcommittee meetings on Wednesday, October 12 followed by the regular general meetings on Thursday. The WTI specifications subcommittee, led by Aaron Dillard, has a great deal of interest and is currently working to establish a quality monitoring program similar to that in place in Canada. After a very busy period from 2013-2016, the Crude by Rail subcommittee has concluded their efforts. Some work is still in progress by other bodies, most notably the crude flammability/ignitability studies led by Dr. David Lord of Sandia National Laboratories, and work by API.
Thursday’s meetings began with a keynote address provided by Rusty Braziel of RBN Energy. Rusty’s talk focused on the turmoil currently seen in light crudes and condensates. While US crude oil production is down about 1 million b/d since January 2015, the production per rig has continued to increase. Abudi Zein of Clipper Data shared about current water borne crude movements and Hillary Stevenson of Genscape updated the attendees on the changing rail activities. Though total US crude exports are essentially unchanged since lifting of the export ban, the destinations are now very different with Europe and Asia replacing some of the Canadian movements.
An international flavor was provided as Duncan Baillie, of Lux Assure in Scotland, presented a technical discussion on the Onsite Analysis of Methanol and MEG in Produced Fluids and Frederick Stubbins of Intertek (UK) provided a talk on The Hydrocarbon Supply Chain: Assuring Quality.
We are looking forward to the next COQA meeting in New Orleans in March 2017, featuring a Gulf of Mexico emphasis!