Meeting Archives

2016 Summer Joint CCQTA - COQA: Edmonton, AB June 7-10

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Proceedings of Joint CCQTA-COQA Meeting
7-10 June, 2016
Edmonton, AB

The biennial Joint Canadian Crude Quality Technical Association - Crude Oil Quality Association meeting was held 7-10 June, 2016 at the Delta Edmonton Centre Hotel.

The Association gratefully thanks the following companies for their support at this meeting:

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Wednesday June 8th

Charles Ward of Alberta Energy led off the conference with his presentation, CCQTA & Alberta Energy Linkages. The talk outlined the broader role of Alberta Energy in CCQTA projects, taking a more detailed look at Oil Sands Royalties and the Bitumen Valuation Project. Market access focus areas were then shared with the group. Finally, Charles spoke on how technical experts are engaged in and benefiting Alberta Energy.

Claudette Fedoruk and Vicki Balance of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers then presented, CAPP Best Management Practices for Transportation of Dangerous Goods Classification of Crude Oil. The presentation is currently unavailable but will be posted as soon as possible.


Trevor Place of Enbridge Pipeline then delivered his talk entitled, Update on Projects Related to Corrosion and Pipeline Integrity. Two projects were discussed: 1) The Pipeline Corrosion Project, which set out to develop a test method for measuring O2, CO2 & H2S in stabilized crude and 2) The Sour Service Project, which set out to solve the issue of there being no suitable methods for H2S monitoring under normal TX pipeline conditions.


Tagenine Alladin, who works on Safety Research in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate of Transport Canada, then gave her talk, Transport Canada Crude Oil Research. The presentation offers high levels of detail on crude oil sampling and analysis completed since 2014, and lays out key findings for individual physical and chemical properties, as well as recommendations from the final report for the project. Tagenine then took the group through ongoing work in the transportation of dangerous goods including pool fire testing and behaviour in a container exposed to fire. Finally, she spoke about US DOT/DOE/TC crude oil collaboration.


James Johnson, of Marathon Petroleum Company, presented Non-Traditional Refinery Preheat Fouling, which looks at the troubleshooting required as a result of the addition of heavy sour Canadian crudes into a traditionally light sweet crude refinery. His presentation outlined the possible culprits such as asphaltenes, the work that was done through the CCQTA Heavy Oil Compatibility Study, and conclusions drawn thus far.


Randy Segato and Dave Murray then shared with the group CCQTA project updates. Participant funded projects included Condensate Quality, Emulsion Characterization, Phosphorus in Crude, Tan, Organic Chlorides, and Dilbit Blending Viscosity. CCQTA funded projects include TVP/RVP, H2S PVT, Crude Oil Flammability, Manual Piston Cylinder, VLE Method, and Crude Oil Compatibility.


Tomoki Kayukawa of JGC Corporation presented next on Characterization and Refinery Processing of Partially-upgraded Bitumen. He spoke about the advantages of partially upgrading bitumen (rather than fully upgrading or adding diluent), olefin analysis, and the consequences for refinery processing including compatibility testing, heat exchanger fouling, and desalting performance.


Babatunde Olateju, from the University of Alberta, then presented on Life Cycle Assessment and Cost of Pipeline vs Rail Transport of Bitumen. Different models for LCAs were explored for crude by rail and dilbit pipeline scenarios (crude by rail is significantly more GHG intensive). The presentation drew conclusions on what affects GHG emissions the most (pipeline velocity and locomotive efficiency), and the cost competitiveness of either transport method.


Joule Bergerson, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary also presented on Life Cycle Analysis in her talk, Life Cycle Assessment of Crude Oil Pathways. She introduced LCAs and in particular the Know Your Oil: Creating an Oil-Climate Index project before taking us through input parameters, model evaluation, and revision. The presentation also included results for GHG emissions for major global oil fields, and GHG mitigation technologies.  

Thursday June 9th

Dennis Sutton opened the second day of the meeting with an introduction to the COQA, its mission and history, and pointed to the ongoing work of COQA subcommittees. Acknowledging the association’s corporate sponsors and supporters, including the newest supporter, General Electric, he also thanked all of the Edmonton event sponsors. His introductory remarks finished with a look to the future: to future work of the COQA, and to the next COQA meetings in Houston (October 12-13).


Formal presentations were led off by Carmen Velasquez, Executive Director of Energy Programs and the Alberta School of Business. Her talk, Outlook for the Canadian Oil Sands began with multiple long term scenarios for world oil demand and price and situates Canadian production and market access in that context in light of changing operating costs, lack of new projects, and the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan.


Dinara Millington of the Canadian Energy Research Institute then presented Canada’s Competitive Barrel: Can Canadian Heavy Barrels Compete in the US Gulf?which took an in depth look at how Canada’s growing supply of exported heavy crude oil has and could reach additional markets. Factors such as pipeline networks and capacity, rail systems, domestic consumption, and competing Mexican and Venezuelan heavy crudes were taken into account in order to estimate potential netbacks for barrels transported to the Gulf Coast.


Phil Harris of Insight Analytical spoke about Optical Solutions to Process Automation. His talk, Applying Near Infrared Spectroscopy to the Online Determination of Composition and Physical Properties of Crudes and Condensatesintroduced delegates to the ways that an in line NIR measurement system can provide real time data to measure numerous quality parameters (of particular note is vapor pressure). 


We next heard from Dan Wispinski of Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures who spoke on the Latest Developments in Light Hydrocarbon Testing in Crude Oils. Outlining the challenges and previous methods of testing for vapor pressure and initial boiling point, the presentation went on to look at how these two critical properties, if measured after Closed Sampling, show drastically different results. The presentation then detailed new testing regimes for volatile components, EOS modeling and accuracy, and future work on light ends testing.


Kesavalu Bagawandoss of Intertek then presented Comply? For 40 Years we Classified Crude by API Gravity!: DOT/PHMSA 49 CFR §173.41. As part of ongoing work on the subject, the delegates were briefed on the latest nuances to DOT/PHMSA regulations with respect to crude quality. §173.41, which applies to all modes of transportation and requires a sampling and testing program, was explained, as are steps for compliance.


Bob Eccleston, representing Crude Oil on Rail Enterprises, spoke about the organization in a presentation entitled, CORE: Enabling Information, Education and Co-Marketing. After outlining CORE’s history and vision, member companies, objectives, and events, the presentation gave examples of Co-marketing opportunities and membership details.


After lunch, Steve Fekete, Managing Director at IHS Energy, spoke on Crude Oil and Refining Markets: Finding a New Balance. The presentation, set around the forecast of market balance in the second half of 2016, looked at declining production outside of the Gulf-5 through 2017, long term demand for refined products, regional shifts (“globalization”) in high capacity refinery centers (particularly to Asia), and these factors’ influence on North American projects.


George Bachar of AmSpec presented Tank Cars: Off Lease and Change of Service Cleaning and Inspection. With the fluctuations and current decline in Crude by Rail volumes, large numbers of rail cars are being retrofitted and cleaned to be repurposed or meet new regulations. This presentation detailed the motives, economics, and procedures behind the cleaning and inspection of such cars.


Dennis Sutton provided a brief overview of the subcommittee work being done on asphaltene precipitation. The topic resulted in a lengthy discussion amongst the group. Aaron Dillard also spoke briefly on the “Domestic Sweet” quality monitoring project of that subcommittee.


Eric Vetters of ProCorr Consulting Services concluded the meeting’s presentations with an overview of Considerations in Establishing a Crude Quality Monitoring Program. To the benefit of the group, delegates were reminded of why and what to monitor, general and technical considerations, and most importantly of how to tailor crude monitoring programs to meet objectives in various contexts.