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

  • COQA Oklahoma City, May 29-30, 2019

    Dates: 29 – 30 May, 2019
    Save the date and plan to attend COQA's summer 2019 conference in Oklahoma City. Our plan is to do this conference a little differently, with a FULL DAY TOUR of Cushing terminal facilities on May 29, and then a full day of meetings on May 30th.

    Tour and General Conference Registration
    Tour Registration Deadline: May 8, 2019
    *Our hosts require advance notice of attendees so we cannot accept late registrations
    Conference Advance Registration Deadline: May 22, 2019
    *Conference Registration will also be available on site for $125 by credit card only.

    Complimentary Registration

    *For representatives of annual member companies, event sponsors, speakers, retirees, press

    Our venue will be the Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City (1 Park Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102).

    COQA has room blocks at both the Skirvin and the Colcord Hotels. Cut off date for guestrooms is May 7th, 2019.

    Skirvin Hotel Guestroom Reservations (main block)

    Colcord Hotel Guestroom Reservations (alternate block)

    Schedule of Events
    Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

    7:30am: Gather in the Lobby of the Skirvin Hotel to board for the Cushing Tour
    8:00am:-4:30pm: Cushing Tour

    COQA Cushing Tour 2019 will:
    1) visit at least two terminals, including Enbridge and Enterprise
    Thank You to our Host Companies!!

    2) include lunch provided by Intertek Caleb Brett at their Cushing facility, plus a lab tour

    3) include all transportation, safety gear

    5:00pm: Domestic Sweet Monitoring Program Subcommittee Meeting

    Thursday, May 30th, 2019

    7:00am - 8:00am: Breakfast (provided by COQA)
    8:00am - 9:45am: Presentations
    9:45am - 10:15am: Morning Break
    10:15am - 11:45am: Presentations
    11:45am - 1:30pm: Lunch Break
    1:30pm - 3:00pm: Presentations
    3:00pm - 4:00pm: Additives Subcommittee Meeting
    4:00pm: Executive Board Meeting

    Josh Baskett, Continental Resources
    CLR in Oklahoma and the Bakken

    Dan Brusstar, CME Group
    Implementation of Domestic Sweet Specs in Cushng

    David Braziel, RBN Energy
    The Effects of Exports on Domestic Crude Supply and Demand

    Ha Nguyen, IHS Markit
    Sour Crude Scramble: Global Heavy Crude Slates

    Larry Tucker, Metrohm
    An Improved Method to Measure Acidity in Crude Oil and Heavy Distillate Fractions

    Hillary Stevenson, Genscape
    Cushing Infrastructure, Prices, and Quality

    Ian Burgess, Validere
    Accuracy and Interface Classification in S&W Testing in the Field

    Jon Bargas, OIPA - OKOGA
    Fueling a Stronger Oklahoma

    Event Sponsors


    Add event to: ICal Outlook Google Calendar
  • COQA Dallas, October 9-10, 2019

    Dates: 09 – 10 Oct, 2019
    dallbj-omni-dallas-hotel-park-west-exterior-signSave the date and plan to join us for the COQA's Fall 2019 meeting in Dallas, TX.

    Our venue will be the Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West (1590 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy, Dallas, TX 75234). Information on the program is forthcoming.

    Add event to: ICal Outlook Google Calendar

News and Announcements

  • RBN Energy Blog Highlights WTI Crude Quality

    by Dennis Sutton | Nov 20, 2018

    RBN Energy’s daily blog, published November 19, 2018, titled The Race Is On - Houston Crude Oil Futures Contracts Compete For Market Share by Laura Blewitt provides an excellent overview of the three futures contracts involving WTI crude oil.  Included are details of the logistics and crude quality specifications associated with each contract.

    These three similar, but different contracts are:

    • CME Group’s Light Sweet Crude delivered at Cushing- described in NYMEX Rulebook Chapter 200.  The COQA has been instrumental in development of the new specifications that will take effect January 2019.  Data for streams at Cushing can be found on the data portal

    • CME Group’s WTI delivered at Houston.  This new contract was launched November 5, 2018, and details are found in NYMEX Rulebook Chapter 201.

    • Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) contract, officially called “Permian WTI (Houston)”.  Quality specifications are found in Magellan’s BridgeTex and Longhorn pipeline tariff documents. API Gravity, Sulfur, Vapor Pressure, and BS & W data are shown on the ICE web site.

    A summary of the different quality specifications (for the relevant properties) is as follows: 

    CME’s WTI- Cushing

    CME’s WTI- Houston

    ICE’s Permian WTI (Houston)

    API Gravity


    40- 44


    Sulfur, wt %

    0.42% or less

    0.275% or less


    RVP, psi




    MicroCarbon Residue (MCR), wt %

    2.40% or less

    2.40% or less

    Total Acid Number (TAN)

    0.28 mg KOH/g or less

    0.28 mg KOH/g or less

    Nickel, wt ppm

    8 ppm or less

    4 ppm or less

    Vanadium, wt ppm

    15 ppm or less

    4 ppm or less

    HTSD: Light Ends

    < 220°F

    Not more than 19 wt %

    HTSD: 50% point, °F

    470°F- 570°F

    HTSD: Vacuum Resid

    > 1020°F

    Not more than 16 wt %

  • First European Crude Quality Forum held in Aberdeen, Scotland

    by Bill Lywood | Aug 30, 2018

    On July 25, the first ever European Crude Quality Forum was hosted by Intertek at their research and laboratory facility in Aberdeen, Scotland.  Coordinated by Dr. Frederick Stubbins of Intertek, the program included a buffet lunch followed by a half day of technical presentations including:

    • SpeakerThankYou from AberdeenAndrew Duncan, Intertek- Asset Integrity Management
    • Duncan Baillie, LUX Assure- What’s In Your Crude?
    • Frederick Stubbins, Intertek- Total Quality Assurance from Well Stream to Forecourt
    • Dennis Sutton, COQA- Introduction to theCOQA; An overview of North American Crude Oil Quality
    • Katharine Fogg, Essar Oil UK- Opportunity Oil Processing in European Refineries
    • Ruth Downie, Infineum- Wax and Asphaltenes
    Over 40 attendees participated in the event and provided lively, open discussion.
  • Platts Capitol Crude podcast highlights COQA efforts

    by Dennis Sutton | Jul 03, 2018
    The July 2, 2018 Capitol Crude podcast produced by Platts addresses the confusion regarding WTI crude oil and highlights the work of the COQA that has led to the adoption by CME/NYMEX of more comprehensive quality specifications for WTI at Cushing.  The podcast features discussion by John-Laurent Tronche, managing editor, Platts Americas crude oil, and Dennis Sutton, executive director of the Crude Oil Quality Association.  To listen to the podcast, click here.
  • Denver Joint COQA/CCQTA Meeting Draws Record Attendance

    by Dennis Sutton | Jun 07, 2018

    Over 160 attendees gathered May 22-24 at Denver’s Grand Hyatt hotel for the sixth international joint meeting of the Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) and the Canadian Crude Quality Technical Association (CCQTA).  The meetings featured a half-day session of subcommittee and board meetings, followed by two full days of presentations.

    With the December 2017 announcement by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) that they would begin implementing the COQA recommended specifications for Light Sweet Crude (WTI), beginning in January of 2019, there was a great deal of interest in this topic.  Dan Brusstar, Senior Director of Energy Research at CME emphasized the benefits of the adoption of the COQA specs, including:

    • Mid-continent refiners benefit from stable and certain quality
    • Stable WTI quality will transform the global market, and
    • A “new era” will dawn for global refiners

    An insightful look at the Canadian oil industry was provided by Jeff Gaulin, Vice President of Communications with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).  Jeff discussed the challenge the industry faces in developing trust among Canadians, particularly regarding growth projects.  His talk, which was somewhat of a call to action for the Canadian oil industry, proved rather timely with the announcement the following week that the Canadian government would buy Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, in order to ensure the halted project gets built.

    Dr. David Lord of Sandia National Laboratories updated the group on the recently released report “DOE/DOT Crude Oil Characterization Research Study”.  Drivers for this research include the open debate on whether the types of crude have significant bearing on the severity of transportation accidents.  Information reported at this time pertained to issues of sampling and analysis methods.  Future work will address combustion experiments and modeling, and comparison of light, tight oil vs. more conventional crude.

  • Amendments Announced to the Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures Contract Specifications

    by Dennis Sutton | Jan 04, 2018

    The Crude Oil Quality Association (“COQA”) is pleased to recognize that CME Group has published a Special Executive Report announcing changes regarding the quality specifications of Light Sweet Crude as defined in their Futures contracts. Their report is accompanied by a Q & A section that provides additional detail. The COQA has been a key resource to CME Group in developing these specifications by providing open forum meetings and the data portal

    The amended specifications add five additional parameters in characterizing West Texas Intermediate (WTI)/ Domestic Sweet crude oil.  These parameters address:

    • Distillation characteristics
    • Vanadium content
    • Nickel content
    • Total Acid Number (TAN), and
    • Micro carbon residue content
    Full Press Release (.pdf)


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