Meeting Archives

2016 Spring: San Antonio, TX, March 2-3

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Proceedings of Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) Meeting
2-3 March 2016
San Antonio, TX

The first 2016 Crude Oil Quality Association (COQA) meeting was held 2-3 March 2016 at the historic Menger hotel in San Antonio TX.

Kesavalu M. Bagawandoss, PhD, of Intertek prepared a presentation for Wednesday’s Subcommittee meetings that details the latest federal regulations for Crude by Truck and the need for appropriate sampling and analysis plans for unrefined petroleum based products.

Additional Information from subcommittee meetings may be posted in the future

Dennis Sutton
opened the meeting with general announcements, acknowledging the corporate sponsors and supporters whose financial backing supports the organization, including newcomers Dorf Ketal and Infineum. He looked forward to next meetings in Edmonton (June 7-10) and Houston (October 12-13). A short video was shown of Dennis speaking on the levels of light crude oils in US production for Infineum’s project Trends.

David L. Lord, PhD, of the Geotechnology and Engineering Department of Sandia National Laboratories
presented the latest update in the lab’s Crude Oil Characterization Research Study. The study seeks to better understand how quality plays a role in the risks associated with Crude by Rail transport and has progressed from the Problem Definition phase to the Experimental Phase, where existing data and sampling methods are being analyzed, and combustion experiments and modeling (including Surface emissive power tests), as well as crude characterization studies are taking place. Opportunities for involvement and contact information can also be found. 

Crude Oil Compatibility and Self-Incompatibility,
 presented by Irv Wiehe, PhD, of Soluble Solutions, discusses how the determination of compatibility and self-incompatibility of different crudes can allow refiners to determine in advance if they will cause emulsion, fouling, and/or coking problems. The presentation is highly relevant in light of the frequency of Self-Incompatibility increasing dramatically since 2010.


Ashok Anand of Enbridge then presented, Enbridge Cushing WTI Quality, which begins with an overview of Enbridge’s Crude Oil Storage facility at Cushing, and presents a detailed charting of NYMEX Light Sweet Quality Results for the following: Sulfur, Gravity, S&W, Viscosity, RVP, Pour Point, MCR, TAN, Ni, V, Light Ends, 50% Point, Resid.


We next heard from Jeff Hazle of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), who presented Crude Oil Quality Issues from the Refining Side. Beginning with a brief overview of AFPM, the presentation looks at refiner definitions of quality, the effects of crude variability, and the path forward to develop a domestic sweet specification that will include a comprehensive list of properties (and may be developed in co-ordination with COQA)


Blake Branson, PhD, of Alcor Petrolab then presented on Bench Scale Testing for Rapid and Relevant Prediction of Crude Fouling Characteristics using the Hot Liquid Process Simulator. Understanding the fouling behavior of crude oils and intermediates in various stages of the refining process is critical to maximizing efficiency. HLPS tests are used to efficiently evaluate how key process parameters such as materials, temperatures, fluid blends, and additives affect the fouling or coking behavior of fluids. The presentation provides an overview of the test equipment and capabilities as well as provide examples of how test data informs decisions to adjust process parameters to minimize the impact of fouling.


Bill Lywood presented CCQTA Bitumen Dewatering and Volumetric Correction which explores how applying a correction factor to API 12.3 blending calculations can better predict shrinkage in blends of Alberta’s heavy crudes and diluent.


After Lunch, Lawrence Karas, PhD, of Nalco Champion introduced the group to a new product called HSCV10273A in a presentation entitled, Not your Father’s H2S Scavenger. Lawrence discussed how the product could replace triazines, outlined the lab studies taken place thus far, and showed the data collected to determine that the product exhibited superior scavenging capacity as compared to triazines without scale formation in upstream applications.


Professor Tom Tunstall of University of Texas, San Antonio, presented for the group Eagle Ford and Mexico: Latest Developments, a summary of his work at the Institute for Economic Development. The presentation summarized the work completed in the 2014 study Economic Impact of the Eagle Ford Shale and looked across the border to the possibilities and unpredictability of developments in Mexico.


Darren York then provided a Conference in Review for the group on the proceedings at the 2016 Argus Americas Crude Summit in January 2016. Taking an approach that broke down the various presentations in to four key themes (Market, US Exports, Geopolitical Factors, Policy Factors), the presentation discussed recent developments, the current situation, and forecasts for prices, supply/demand, exports, tight oil drilling productivity, global crude quality, geopolitical risk factors, and policy factors.


Jeff Kralowetz concluded this meeting’s formal presentations with Crude Quality and US Spot Markets, which looks at how US infrastructure creates spot markets in which crudes are traded according to benchmarks, and whether one of these is developing in Houston (Is WTI Houston diverging from pure WTI), and whether the Gulf coast may set a benchmark for WCS. The presentation further looks at the global ramifications of how exports from the US could make the Gulf coast a dominant transparent price discovery point.