Meeting Archives

2000 Summer Houston, TX, June 1

Crude Oil Quality Association
Houston, TX
June 1, 2000

The meeting agenda was distributed to those in attendance. There were 43 attendees of which 20 paid the attendance fee.

Legal Review of Anti-Trust – Tish Marshall, COQA Facilitator reminded all attendees to review the Standard Setting Rules prior to each meeting.

Gas Condensate Into Crude Oil - Mr. Jim Healey of Enterprise Products Operating L.P. defined gas condensate, its various classifications and its uses.  Gas condensate from offshore production is generally of consistent quality, comprised of natural gasoline and heavier material, and a typical part of natural gas production and transportation. Gas condensate is typically blended into crude oils, either offshore at the platform or onshore after being captured in a pipeline slug-catcher and stabilized. As long as the crude oil purchased is consistent with expectations (i.e. meets an assay that reflects a consistent blend of crude oil and condensate), gas condensate should not be a quality issue for refiners.

Additive Chemistry in Petroleum Handling Operations - Dr. Jerry Weers of Baker Petrolite Corporation summarized common chemical additives and their uses in crude quality and operations. The most commonly used operational chemicals are:

  • pour depressants and viscosity improvers (of the 180 crudes recently run in the US, 140 have high pours),
  • compatibility additives (to prevent the precipitation of asphaltenes from a crude oil, for example),
  • Hydrogen Sulfide scavengers (H2S is a safety concern),
  • corrosion inhibitors (protection for steel tanks and pipelines) and
  • de-watering additives (lowers free water contamination).

Parts per million dose rates are common as most additives are designed for a specific application and minimal dosages can be calculated. All of the additives Dr. Weers mentioned are organic derivatives, comprised primarily of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sometimes nitrogen. Even so, care needs to be taken when using any such substance especially when mixing different chemicals and when calculating dosages.

Marathon /Ashland Organization and Operations - Mr. Michael Czeskleba, an Analyst in Marathon Ashland Petroleum (MAP) LLC’s Feedstock Acquisition, Supply and Transportation Division brought the group up to date on the company about two and one half years after the merger.

  • The nation’s fourth largest refiner with 945MBP capacity
  • The second largest retail station chain
  • The largest asphalt producer
  • The largest supplier to jobbers and resellers
  • Operator of an extensive inland petroleum products barge fleet
  • Manufacturer and marketer of specialty solvents, lube stocks and petrochemical feedstocks

Marathon Ashland Pipeline, a wholly owned subsidiary, operates in 14 states and is involved with both crude and product transportation. An extensive web-based quality monitoring program tracks crude oil quality at key locations throughout the MAP system. 

Overview of Crude Oil Quality Round Robin No. 9 - Mr. Gerald Lekberg of Williams presented the results of Round Robin No. 9, LLS crude.  Forty-five samples were distributed, 31 labs returned results in time for tabulation. The ASTM Round Robin is slated to start up in September, a registration form can be found as Attachment 8 for anyone interested in participating. The COQA Round Robin will continue until such time as it is deemed no longer necessary. Gerald Lekberg will monitor the two crosscheck programs and make recommendations as needed.

Report on Water Measurement Discussion Group – A revised discussion paper was presented to the Water Measurement Group in the morning before this general meeting. Several edits were proposed and a new revision will be distributed in lieu of meeting minutes. It is planned to finalize the discussion paper at the next meeting. Please advise the COQA facilitator if you wish to review the draft discussion paper and/or participate in the group.

Capline Common Stream Parameters Update – Ms. Patti Edens of Equilon Pipeline reported that the LLS specification program is going extremely well with only one violation reported so far in 2000. 

Mid-Continent Testing/Analyses Update – Ms. Patti Edens of Equilon Pipeline informed the group that the sulfur and gravity specifications for Sweet and Super Sweet common streams on the Basin Pipeline system were put into effect on February 1.  Of the seven connecting carriers that deliver domestic sweet to Basin, only four deliver significant volumes. All four had violations in the first three months of implementation and two of the four are over the "five strikes, you’re out" limit.  Enforcement has been suspended for 60 days while Equilon meets with the carriers and determines a revised approach.

Aaron Dillard of Conoco summarized the testing program to date.

1) The Subcommittee agreed to discontinue testing as of June (May samples already at the lab will be analyzed).
2) The Subcommittee will sponsor a Pipeline Summit for all Basin connecting carriers.
3) Subcommittee members will continue to discuss quality and standards implementation with their own carriers.

It was suggested that an attempt be made to contact other refiners in the Mid-Continent area to see if they had crude quality and testing problems that they would like the Mid-Continent Subcommittee to pursue. This approach could help the Subcommittee focus on the current issues that affect refiners in the area.

Update on CCQTA Projects – Mr. Bruce Kennedy of PetroCanada updated us on the Canadian projects.  The program to test Western Canadian crudes has now completed six months of testing. There are currently twelve companies participating. They have decided to not scale down the testing for the next six months but will maintain the testing frequency at the higher second quarter level. Work continues on the other projects - phosphorous in crude, relaxation of BS&W specification and additive screening.

COQA Web Site and Budget Report – The Facilitator presented the financial report for the first four months of 2000.

Other Business - Ron Fisher led a discussion of possible new subcommittees and agenda items:

  • Transportation chemicals study (following Dr. Weers' introduction)
  • TAN and corrosion (Michelle Moffitt of BetzDearborn offered to look into having a colleague make a presentation on the subject)
  • Asphaltene precipitation (Lynn Anne Sanguedolce of Exxon Mobil offered to do an Internet search of existing publications and share that information with the group)
  • Follow up on the Organic Chlorides issue presented by Ron Fisher of BP Amoco (Ron has investigated and found it to be mainly a solvent contamination issue)
  • Follow up on the methanol discussion and investigate other production additives. For example, how do they affect refining operations and final product specs? (Michelle Moffitt of BetzDearborn and Ranzy Morgan of Petroleum Analyzer Company volunteered to work on this subject)

Anyone else interested in working on these issues or having information to share should please contact either Ron or the COQA facilitator.

Next Meeting - The next meeting of the COQA will be held in conjunction with the Mid-Continent Pipeline Summit, time and location to be announced.