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 COQA Events

  • San Antonio to Host First COQA Meeting of 2016, March 2-3

    Dates: 02 – 03 Mar, 2016

    Dates for our first COQA meeting of 2016 have been set, so mark your calendars and join us in San Antonio on Wednesday March 2nd and Thursday March 3rd. The format will be the same as we usually follow with subcommittee discussion, Advisory and Executive Board meetings on Wednesday (March 2), followed by the general meetings and speakers on Thursday (March 3), beginning with breakfast at 7:00 am.

    Our event will take place at the Menger Hotel, the most historic hotel in San Antonio, situated on the same block as the Alamo.

    Please note the following changes to the registration process:

    1) Registration fees are $100 in advance (as before) and $125 on site (new)
    2) Those receiving complimentary registrations due to corporate support through annual memberships and/or event sponsorship are encouraged to register online in advance (we will have badges prepared)
    3) We now accept American Express online, in addition to Visa, Mastercard, and Discover

    Click Here to Register Now

    Click Here for Corporate Member/Sponsor Complimentary Registration

    Our agenda for March 2, 2016 
    (subcommittees are open to any registrant interested)
    Morning: Wine Tour
    1:00pm: Crude by Rail Subcommittee
    2:00pm: Asphaltene Precipitation Subcommittee
    3:00pm: Domestic Sweet Subcommittee
    4:00pm: Advisory Board Meeting
    5:00pm: Executive Board Meeting

    Our tentative agenda for March 3, 2016 (breakfast and refreshments will be provided)
    Confirmed Speakers include:
     - David Lord, Sandia National Laboratories ("DOE/DOT Crude Oil Characterization Research Study")
     - Lawrence Karas, Nalco-Champion (“Not Your Father’s H2S Scavenger”)
     - Darren York, KBC Advanced Technologies (Argus Conference in Review)
     - Ashok Anand, Enbridge (Quality work around Cushing/WTI)
     - Jeff Hazle, AFPM (Quality Monitoring of Domestic Sweet crude at the Cushing Terminals)
     - Thomas Tunstall, UT San Antonio ("Eagle Ford Shale and Mexico: Latest Developments")
     - Bill Lywood, Crude Quality Inc. (Bitumen De-watering and Volumetric Corrections)
     - Jeff Kralowetz, Argus (Quality Issues around Gulf Coast Crude Streams)
     - Blake Branson, Alcor Petrolab (Prediction of Crude Fouling Characteristics using the Hot Liquid Process Simulator)
     - Irv Wiehe, Soluble Solutions (“Crude Oil Compatibility and Self-incompatibility”)


    Below are options for booking at the Menger Hotel for our San Antonio meeting March 3rd. The Cut-off date for the COQA block is February 16th, 2016.

    1) Direct Link

    2) The attendees may also go to Enter the Group Code and the travel dates to check availability.

    Group Code: 030116CRUDEO

    3) For reservation via phone, you may contact the in house reservations department at 210-223-4361 and give your group name to secure the group rate.

    Group name: Crude Oil Quality Association

    Join your colleagues at the San Antonio COQA meeting for a Tour of Grape Creek Vineyards in Fredericksburg TX, on March 2nd, 2016. The tour includes round trip transportation from the Menger Hotel, a light meal, a tour of the vineyards facilities, and a tasting.

    8:00am: Bus to depart Menger Hotel
    9:30am: Light Breakfast
    10:00am: Tour of Grape Creek Vineyard (will have a quality assurance focus)
    10:45am: Tasting
    11:30am: Departure
    1:00pm: Meeting Begins in San Antonio

    You can register for the meeting HEREThe deadline for the tour registration is February 5th, 2016. The cost will be $70/person.

    Add event to: ICal Outlook Google Calendar
  • Crude Oil: Sampling, Testing, and Evaluation Course

    Dates: 29 Feb – 02 Mar, 2016
    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 February 29 - March 2 in San Antonio. 

    This event is scheduled to facilitate enrolling in this ASTM training and then attending the COQA meeting on Thursday, March 3rd, 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.

    Add event to: ICal Outlook Google Calendar

News and Announcements

  • Concerned About Asphaltenes in Domestic Sweet? Join the new COQA Project!

    by Bill Lywood | Dec 10, 2015
    Due to growing concerns about asphaltenes in WTI/Domestic Sweet crude oil, a COQA sponsored project has been initiated, and is soliciting participation.  The project is structured to allow ANY and ALL interested parties to submit samples of their choosing to the same firm for testing.  All samples will be analyzed by Irv Wiehe and Soluble Solutions, an internationally recognized firm in this field.  A group discount will be applied and the submitting companies will be individually charged for their work.

    The benefits- Results will be provided to the submitting companies, who will then pass on only the sample dates, locations, and results to Dennis Sutton of the COQA.  Results will be gathered and shared collectively, thus preserving any proprietary information, while providing a tremendous cost effective benefit to participants and industry.  For more information, contact project leader Ron Fisher of BP at
  • COQA Fall 2015 Meeting in New Orleans, LA

    by Bill Lywood | Nov 03, 2015

    Increased Interest in WTI Specifications Highlights Fall 2015 COQA Meeting

    Meeting Archives, including summaries and all presentation slides, are posted here.

    Subcommittee Information and Notes are forthcoming. Notes on the Asphaltene Precipitation Committee are posted here.

    The Fall 2015 COQA meeting was held October 21 & 22 at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans, LA with over 115 in attendance.  Thursday’s full day program featured a number of presentations related to the US Gulf Coast, including Dr. Lloyd Wenger of ExxonMobil providing a look at the geochemistry of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Basin; Chris Roark of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) discussing the new light ends specifications for SPR crude; Max Cummings of Allocation Specialists describing the various quality banks in the region; and Wade Tornyos of LOOP explaining the new crude grade “LOOP Sour”. 

    A highlight of the meetings was the renewed interest in the WTI recommended specifications, the re-establishment of the WTI specifications subcommittee, and the very lively meeting of this group on Wednesday afternoon, October 21st. With the tremendous increase in blending of WTI/Domestic Sweet recently, many refiners have expressed concerns about the quality of the crude and the challenges they face to safely and efficiently refine the crude into on-spec finished products.

    Dennis Sutton opened the subcommittee meeting, reviewing the history of the COQA’s recommended specs, details of which can be found on the COQA website. Aaron Dillard of P66, has agreed to chair the subcommittee.  Comments were shared by Marty Power of CVR describing evidence of vacuum tower bottoms being purchased, taken to a crude gathering station and blended back into the crude stream.  Dan Brusstar of CME/NYMEX shared his group’s support for more transparent communication of the WTI quality information.  Work is being planned to progress the goals that Mr. Dillard outlined and the group will provide a subcommittee update report in San Antonio, in conjunction with the next COQA meeting.

    Again, we want to thank our sponsors for the event: Intertek, AmSpec, and JP3 Measurements.

  • 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 (



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