Crude Oil Quality Association



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Welcome to the Crude Oil Quality Association!

The Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) is dedicated to the belief that maintaining the integrity and consistency of the refining characteristics of crude oil streams is of importance to all parties involved in crude oil activity, from production locations to the refinery.

To this end, we hold three meetings annually.  These meetings are open to the public and we welcome your attendance and involvement.

Upcoming Events

  • New Orleans to host COQA 2015 Fall Meeting

    Dates: 21 – 22 Oct, 2015
    IMG_0417Mark your calendars now as the Fall 2015 Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) meetings  will be Wednesday and Thursday, October 21 & 22.  The format will be the same as we usually follow with subcommittee discussion, Advisory and Executive Board meetings on Wednesday, followed by the general meetings on Thursday, October 22, beginning with breakfast at 7:00 am.

    Our venue will be the Astor Crowne Plaza- New Orleans French Quarter hotel. The hotel is attractively located in downtown New Orleans, right on the edge of the French Quarter, with numerous restaurants close by. Our group rate will be $199/night.  


    A dedicated website is now available for attendees to book their hotel rooms online. Reservations can be made at this address:

    Astor Crowne Plaza Booking Website: 

    Online Meeting Registration (NEW!)

    For the New Orleans meeting in October, 2015, for the first time, you are able to register in advance of the meeting online. Click the link below, enter your registration information, and follow the instructions for secure credit card payment.The meeting fee will be $100. Sponsoring companies are provided two complimentary registrations and supporting member companies receive one complimentary registration.

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  • Crude Oil: Sampling, Testing, and Evaluation

    Dates: 19 – 21 Oct, 2015
    This ASTM course is an  excellent opportunity for those wanting to learn detailed information on the sampling and testing of crude oils.  The 3 day course is taught by Harry Giles, Executive Director Emeritus of the Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA).

    These courses are offered periodically with the next one being October 19-21 in New Orleans, LA at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. 

    This event is scheduled to facilitate enrolling in this ASTM training and then attending the COQA meeting on Thursday, October 22, just a few blocks away.  Attendees at the ASTM course will be provided complimentary attendance at the COQA meeting.
    For more information, check out the ASTM web site.

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News and Announcements

  • Crude Oil Characteristics Research

    by Bill Lywood | Jul 16, 2015

    Sandia National Laboratories, in support of the US Department of Energy (DOE), has published a working draft of a Crude Oil Characteristics Research Sampling, Analysis and Experiment (SAE) Plan, that, “contains recommendations on research needed to improve understanding of transport-critical crude oil and especially tight crude oil properties including:

    • Identifying the most appropriate sampling and testing methods for crude oils

    • Sampling, testing and compilation of data on different crude oils using those methods

    • Initial combustion testing to identify relationships between a particular chemical or physical property of crude oil, or combination of such properties, and combustion properties

    • Possible full-scale combustion tests”

    Clink this link for more information:

    Thank you to David L. Lord (Sandia National Laboratories) and Richard A. Elliott (US Department of Energy) for sharing this information.

  • COQA welcomes Crude Quality Inc. as new Executive Assistant

    by Bill Lywood | Jul 16, 2015

    With the growth of the COQA in recent years, we are excited to announce that beginning July 01, 2015, The Crude Oil Quality Association will contract an “Executive Assistant” to work with and take on a portion of the responsibilities of Executive Director Dennis Sutton, particularly in the area of planning COQA’s three annual conferences.

    The position will initially be filled by Crude Quality Inc., a company that has worked as a consulting firm in the field of crude oil quality since 1998, and whose president, Bill Lywood, has a long standing relationship with the COQA and is a current member of the Board of Directors. Crude Quality Inc. possesses industry expertise, networks crucial for recruiting excellent speakers, and staff with experience in the organization of conferences of comparable scale.

    So, please welcome Bill Lywood, George Lywood, and Crude Quality Inc. to the staff of the COQA as we strive to carry out our mission of:

    • encouraging the development, adoption and use of methods, practices and procedures designed to minimize undesirable modifications to the crude oil

    • educating all regarding quality aspects related to producing, transporting, storing, trading, handling, and refining crude oil, and

    • providing a forum for the presentation, discussion, and exchange of information and ideas related to these subjects.

    Anyone with interest in sponsoring events, presenting at COQA conferences, or providing feedback or suggestions regarding the conferences, please contact George Lywood (
  • COQA Mid 2015 Meeting in Minneapolis, MN

    by Dennis Sutton | Jun 23, 2015
    The mid-2015 COQA meeting was held June 10 & 11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis, MN.  We appreciated the support of the local area refineries-Flint Hills Resources and Northern Tier Energy.

    Activities started with the Crude by Rail subcommittee discussion on Wednesday afternoon, June 10.

    The general meeting kicked off with George Shaffner, Senior Vice President of Marathon Petroleum's presentation highlighting the company's on-going projects. Cara Madee concluded the Marathon talk, describing the Utica oil, including physical characteristics.  Applications of Near Infrared spectroscopy to crude oil characterization were featured in talks by Colin Stewart of Intertek in Aberdeen, Scotland and Dr. Didier Lambert, President of TOPNIR. 

    The growth of the light, tight crude oil, particularly in the Bakken, has generated a great deal of interest on the part of our membership.  Dr. Arden Strycker of SGS described some of the analytical challenges while Ted Aulich of the Energy & Environmental Research Center in North Dakota updated the group on the planned work by the Department of Energy regarding the flammability/ignitability characteristics of these materials.

    Detailed meeting archives are available on the Web site.

  • Department of Transportation Announces Final Rule Regarding Transportation of Crude by Rail

    by Dennis Sutton | May 01, 2015
    The topic of crude oil quality as it pertains to the movement of crude by rail has been a significant part of recent COQA meetings.  Our meetings have included discussion on crude properties, and specifically the sampling, testing, and characterization of these materials.

    On May 1, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a final rule for the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail. The rule was developed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in coordination with Canada.  Canada's Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, joined Secretary Foxx to announce Canada's new tank car standards, which align with those of the U.S.

    The DOT Press Release on this announcement is available here.  The announcement includes links to the summary of the rule and the 395 page entire rule.

    Of particular interest to the COQA membership will be sections on Crude Oil Treatment (page 76) and Crude Classification and Vapor Pressure (pages 218- 234).
  • Light, Tight Oil Discussion and Baker Hughes Tour Highlight Houston COQA Meeting

    by Dennis Sutton | Feb 23, 2015

    Amidst the backdrop of two recent crude-by-rail incidents (one in the US and one in Canada), low crude oil prices, and a nationwide United Steelworker strike at US refineries, the COQA meeting February 19 at the Marriott West Loop in Houston attracted 136 attendees.  A number of the presentations addressed quality aspects related to light, tight oil.  Talks by Kesavalu Bagawandoss, Intertek and Jason Nick of Ametek specifically dealt with vapor pressure measurement. 

    David Lord of Sandia National Laboratories provided an update on the planned work of the Department of Energy’s project on “Tight Oil Flammability & Transportation Spill Safety”. To date, a literature survey has been completed.  The COQA will look forward to future reports on this project as experimental work is conducted.

    In his talk “Crude Oil Quality Management in a Volatile Crude Price Marketplace”, Baker Hughes’ Waynn Morgan helped us to recall that crude prices historically have been quite volatile, with a price around $10/bbl in 1998, followed by $130/bbl just 10 years later.  The price was about $100/bbl in mid-2014, before the collapse to the current levels of about half of that.     

    In addition to event sponsorship from Ametek and Analytical Systems KECO, Baker Hughes provided an outstanding tour of their Woodlands Technology Center, where they manufacture drill bits used throughout the world.  This tour was given on Wednesday morning, February 18, and was open to all meeting attendees.  While the COQA is focused on the crude oil, it was fascinating to learn of the history of drill bit technology, and see the sophisticated robotic manufacturing techniques used to produce today’s drill bits.                                            COQA_BakerHughes 1_1




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