Meeting Archives

1999 Summer: Houston, TX, June 3

Crude Oil Quality Association
Houston, TX
June 3, 1999

The meeting agenda was distributed to those in attendance. There were 45 attendees of which 20 paid the attendance fee.

Legal Review of Anti-Trust – Ms. Tish Marshall reminded all attendees to study the Standard Setting Rules and discuss it with their in-house attorney.  The Standard Setting Rules are available on under "Information".

Cushing Terminal and All American Pipeline Operations - Mr. Harry Pefanis and Mr. Mark Shires of Plains Marketing, L.P. discussed the operations of the All American Pipeline and Cushing Terminal. Plains All American (PAA) is 59% owned by Plains Resources and operates the All American Pipeline and Cushing Terminal. PAA, through its acquisition of Scurlock Permian, LLC, also operates the Spraberry pipeline system and the Sabine pass system.

The All American Pipeline runs from California to Texas and was built in the 1980's to bring offshore California crude to the Mid-Continent. Currently, however, only about 85 – 90MBD of OCS is received into the pipeline and most of that is delivered intra-state California. An additional 90MBD of West Coast Heavy is gathered as a part of the All-American system and delivered into Texas. WCH is blended with WTI before being delivered into Basin Pipeline.

Plains recently completed expansion of their Cushing facility to a total capacity of over three million barrels connected to over 10 terminal and pipeline systems. A large percentage of the tankage is leased to third parties. The terminal has handled over 20 grades of foreign crude. Throughput at the facility is 70MBD.

In the discussion that followed the presentation, Plains indicated that while they are receptive to the idea of standards for the West Texas common streams, they have no influence on those receipts at their terminal. A ”bad" batch could possibly be diverted but the line would definitely not be shut down. Plains follows the API specifications for sampling and currently monitors all receipts.

Real Time Monitoring System for Crude Discharge – Mr. Dan Comstock (SGS) presented an overview of a new monitoring system available for ship discharge or loading. Using the Real Time Monitoring (R*T*M*) software, a PC, phone line and modem and some additional hardware at the berth, the client or SGS can see what is happening every two minutes from any connected location.

While the major impact of R*T*M* is demurrage claims, water detection can also have a quality and dollar impact. Water slug detection and on-line density monitoring can be easily added upon request. The R*T*M* software is already in use and is available on a three-week turnaround allowing the R*T*M* system to be up and running at any berth within a five-week time frame.

EquiVap True Vapor Pressure Testing Technology – Mr. Keith Henderson of TruTest Analytical Consultants introduced the group to his patented test method for the determination of liquid volatiles and vapor pressures. “EquiVap” uses reverse engineering techniques utilizing chemical equilibrium principles. It was developed under contract with the US D.O.E. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Reid-based vapor pressure testing has been shown to be inadequate for the prevention of flash-off product losses. The EquiVap method performs a controlled flash at known conditions and then utilizes thermodynamic principles to accurately quantify the high vapor pressure components present. Some of the benefits available from accurately knowing the light end components could be product loss savings by operational optimization of upstream process units, environmental emission reductions, detection of excessive NGL spiking in crude and storage tank vapor recovery economic assessments.

Introduction to Water Measurement Discussion Group – Ms. Tish Marshall of the COQA advised the general membership that enough interest was apparent at the discussion group in the morning to warrant forming a new subcommittee. Interested parties should contact the facilitator.

Update on OilMonitor – Ms. Julie Banner of PricewaterhouseCoopers updated the group on OilMonitor. A summary of possible cost savings was presented along with an overview of where the project currently stands.

Overview of Crude Oil Quality Round Robin No. 6 - Mr. Gerald Lekberg of Williams presented the results of Round Robin No. 8. Forty-one samples were distributed, 32 labs returned results in time for tabulation.

Capline Common Stream Recommendation Update - Ms. Patti Edens of Equilon Pipeline reported that the LLS specifications have been in effect since October 1, 1998. Notices of Violation were officially distributed starting in January 1999. Only four NOV’s were necessary.

It was announced to the general membership that the Capline subcommittee has been officially disbanded. At this time, no specifications will be sought for Bonito Sour or Eugene Island crudes, the other common streams on Capline. With the implementation of the LLS specifications going so well, there is no longer a need to meet regularly.

Mid-Continent Testing/Analyses Update – Mr. Aaron Dillard of Conoco presented a summary of meetings between members of the Mid-Continent subcommittee and area pipelines and terminals. To date, meetings have been conducted with Equilon Pipeline, Arco Pipeline, Dynegy, Amoco Pipeline, Plains Marketing and Transportation and Equilon Terminal to discuss the proposed West Texas Sweet and West Texas/New Mexico Sour stream specifications. The pipelines and terminals were basically receptive to the proposed specifications but were not ready to commit to implementation at this time.

Mr. Dillard presented a summary of the testing results generated through March of 1999 compared to the proposed stream recommendations, Attachment 9. Please note that minimum and maximum on the attachment refer to plus or minus two standard deviations from the calculated average.

The subcommittee had proposed adding Nitrogen to the properties with recommended standards. To date, West Texas/New Mexico Sour appears to be running at 1200ppm, West Texas Sweet at 1000ppm and West Coast Sour at 4500ppm.

Recent acquisitions have made both Plains and EOTT bigger players in the Mid-Continent area. They will therefore be approached by the subcommittee shortly to discuss the standard setting program.

Update on CCQTA Projects – An update on the CCQTA projects was not available.

COQA Budget Report – The COQA Facilitator presented the financial report for the first five months of 1999.

Next Meeting - The next meeting of the COQA will be held on September 30 in Houston.