Meeting Archives

2015 Fall: New Orleans, LA, October 22

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Proceedings of Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) Meeting
22 October 2015
New Orleans, LA

The fall 2015 Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) meeting was held 22 October 2015 at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans.

Dennis Sutton opened the meeting with general announcements, acknowledging the corporate sponsors and supporters whose financial backing supports the organization. Dennis provided overviews for the next COQA meetings in March (San Antonio) and June (Edmonton) before outlining the Gulf Coast focus of this meeting in New Orleans.

John Powell of the U.S. Energy Information Administration presented “Effects of Removing Restrictions on U.S. Crude Oil Exports”, a product of 15 months of ongoing work by the EIA. After summarizing the role of the EIA in general, John moved on to speak about the National Energy Modelling System, which takes four scenarios from the Annual Energy Outlook Cases to project through 2025 the impact of removing crude export restrictions on domestic crude prices, Brent prices, U.S. gasoline prices, domestic production, U.S. crude exports and product exports. 


“Oil Families of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Basin: Geochemical Perspective,” presented by Lloyd Wenger (and co-written by Kenneth Hood), summarizes an integrated study to assess sources, maturation, and potential migration pathways to known and potential reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico. Lloyd’s presentation explores geologic framework through generalized stratiographic columns, maps oil families and hydrocarbon systems, questions the intersection of migration pathways and sources, all the while providing multiple examples of Gulf of Mexico Basin oil families.


Chris Roark of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve presented, “Crude Oil Specifications Revision,” begins with an overview of the SPR’s mission, storage facilities, and selection bias for light crudes. The core of the presentation focuses on how the influx of high vapor pressure light sweet oil from the Bakken field since 2012 has affected the SPR reserves, and altered light ends testing program and light ends limitations/specs.


“Sampling and Analysis in light of the PHMSA/DOT Final Rule,” presented by Kesavalu Bagawandoss of Intertek, explores recent legislation on the transportation of crude oil by rail, then proceeds to look at appropriate and alternate methods for determining Initial Boiling Point that fall under API RP 3000. In particular he contrasts the use of the traditional ASTM D86 method to the GPA 2177M and ASTM D7900 methods, the significant difference in results, and their implications for safe transportation.


David Alexander of Haverly Systems Inc. then presented on “Dealing with Bad Assay Data.” Here we find a guide to common errors found in assay data (especially after data manipulation). David discusses the importance of having smooth data, and corrections that may be necessary in yield curves. He outlines a number of typical assay errors for basic properties as well as on Cold Flow property data, in viscosity data, and with resid values and balancing.


After Lunch, Brent Golleher of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association presented on “Politics Informs Policy,” a look at the ways that political realities, often at the expense of rational inquiry, affect government policy regarding the oil industry. Looking at case studies both nationally and in Louisiana (including St. Tammany Parish Protests, as well as SLFPA – East, Plaquemines Parish, and Jefferson Parish Lawsuits), Brent outlined the challenges the industry is currently facing and some of the initiatives, such as the Grow Louisiana Coalition and Energize LA, that are working on behalf of industry.


Max Cummings of Allocation Specialists Ltd. then offered a comprehensive presentation on the nature of Quality Banks, entititled “Gulf of Mexico Quality Banks.” Looking at Pipeline, Platform, and NGL Quality Banks, Max explained how value adjustments (debits and credits) are made among shippers that depend upon the properties of petroleum in the pipeline.


Randy Segato then updated the audience on the new directions that the CCQTA, initially in terms of governance, how membership fees will be collected, and its commitment to more open studies and reporting. He then moved on to discuss the new projects on Bitumen Dewatering and Volumetric Corrosion, Pipeline Corrosion, as well as ongoing work on H2S PVT, TVP/RVP, and Crude Oil Flammability.


Wade Tornyos concluded the round of invited presenters with a discussion of “Loop Sour” (written with Phil Plaisance). Wade began by describing LOOP, its facilities, capacities, and types of crude stored. The goal of the presentation was to provide an overview of the new futures contracts: an altered version of previously existing Crude Oil Futures, and the brand new Crude Oil Storage Futures. The transparent auction process, implications, and benefits for smaller traders, and effects on LOOP Sour quality characteristics are key themes.