Meeting Archives

2001 Spring: New Orleans, LA, Feb 1

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Crude Oil Quality Association
New Orleans, LA
February 1, 2001
The meeting agenda was distributed to those in attendance.  There were 46 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. 

Karl Fischer Water Measurement Methodology - Ms. Rachael Brooks of Brinkmann Instruments spoke on the various methods of water determination in crude oil.  Moisture determination is important due to the economic ramifications for suppliers, transporters, refineries and ultimate consumers.   Brinkmann Instruments recommends the Karl Fischer titration method due to its fast analysis time, high degree of accuracy and precision, the ease in sample handling and the relatively inexpensive equipment.  There are two types of Karl Fischer tests, Volumetric and Coulometric.  The volumetric method consists of metering in a reagent to react with water; the cuolometric version generates the reagent that eventually mixes with the water.  Both methods are accurate and almost full proof; there is very little room for operator error.  Sulfides and mercaptans in the crude oil consume the titrant and can give high water values.  However, a masking agent can be added to the solvent which will counteract the interference. 

Mr. Steve Stewart of KAM Controls also spoke on the Karl Fischer measurement system. Water measurement for custody transfer is especially challenging as the test must be simple (field technicians have many different responsibilities), accurate (large dollars are involved) and repeatable (both buyer and seller must be satisfied).  Crude oil itself is very complex and required modification of the traditional KF analysis, especially considering the non-laboratory environment in which custody transfer takes place.  However, many of the crude-specific requirements have been solved with different reagents and portable equipment.   Per ASTM, Karl Fischer is currently the quickest and most reproducible water measurement technology available.  With the world consuming 75 million barrels of oil a day, the economic advantage of using Karl Fisher could be considerable. 

BP Amoco Organization and Operations - Mr. Ron Fisher of BP Amoco gave an overview of BP Amoco’s crude quality initiatives. BP Amoco has 85,000 employees in 100 countries.The company is involved in Exploration and Production, Refining, Chemicals, Shipping and Marketing.  The eight U.S. refineries run combinations of sweet and sour crudes.  Crude quality receives attention from two full time positions in the U.S.  BP Amoco utilizes the Internet with the IDES (Inspector Data Entry System) where inspectors digitally interface with the appropriate BP Amoco employees and quality data is extracted and stored automatically.  BP Amoco also monitors pipeline crude quality with routine samples that are tested with in-house laboratories.  A BP Amoco intranet system was designed to mange that quality data.   

The Use of Drag Reducing Agents – Mr. Mike West of Baker Petrolite spoke to the group about drag reducing agents (DRA).  Baker Petrolite has 20 years of history on drag reducing agents; enough to ensure that there are no adverse effects from the chemical to downstream processes or products.   The chemical makeup of DRA is continuously being optimized and the ppm dosage required for effective treatment has decreased over the years.  DRA works only in turbulent flow and multiple injections may be required as the sheared chemical loses effectiveness while passing through mainline pumping stations.  Mike distributed excerpts from Baker Petrolite’s quality assurance manual which definitively describes its FLO pipeline booster.  Please contact the COQA facilitator if you’d like a copy of the excerpt or contact Mike directly (281-275-7349) if you are interested in the entire manual. 

ECommerce and Petroleum - Mr. Erik Holladay of ITS Caleb Brett spoke to the COQA about the rapidly growing use of the Internet in managing logistics and quality in the petroleum industry.   ITS Caleb Brett has been in business for over 110 years and provides inspecting, sampling and testing services for a variety of products throughout the world.  ITS Caleb Brett has available online capabilities that can provide their clients reporting, quality, and transaction information faster, in new ways, and more economically than traditional communication means.  Inspection reporting services, database management and quality monitoring are the types of services provided via the web. 

Oil, Chemical and Energy companies are expanding their business onto the web to take advantage of the increased competitiveness, speed, efficiency and savings a web-enabled business offers.  New technologies mean communications between producer, vendor and customer will be revolutionized in the next few years.

One issue the petroleum industry is starting to address is the establishment of common ECommerce standards to enable companies to easily “talk” to one another using their existing, in-house systems.  API, the Chemical Industry Data Exchange and others are involved in this process.  ITS Caleb Brett is lending its expertise in setting standards for the inspection and testing functions.

Overview of Crude Oil Quality Round Robin No. 11 - Mr. Gerald Lekberg of Williams presented the results of Round Robin No. 11, Cusiana crude.  Forty-five samples were distributed, 25 labs returned results in time for tabulation.  With the successful onset of the ASTM cross check, The COQA Round Robin will be discontinued.  Thank you to all who participated in the COQA Round Robin and many thanks from the COQA to Gerald Lekberg for initiating and managing the program.

Additive Subcommittee - Interested parties met in the morning to discuss a game plan for this new subcommittee.  After much discussion, it was decided that the first step should be to distribute a questionnaire to refiners through the U.S. with specific questions on additive components and their effect on operations.  The tabulation of the questionnaire responses will be used as a starting point for discussions with producers and manufacturers.  All persons interested in additives (both transportation and production) are invited to join the subcommittee.

Capline Common Stream Parameters Update - Ms. Patti Edens of Equilon Pipeline reported that the LLS specification program is going extremely well with no additional excursions to report. 

Mid-Continent Testing/Analyses Update – Patti also reported no excursions on the Basin Pipeline system for Sweet and Super Sweet parameters.  Mr. Aaron Dillard of Conoco reported that a summary of all data gathered during the testing and sampling program was distributed to all interested parties.  He noted that the minimum /maximum variation has narrowed with the monitoring program.  Some next steps for the committee to address are the NYMEX specifications at Midland and a communication to all Mid-Continent shippers asking for their support in expanding quality definitions to include parameters such as distillation points and metals as well as the traditional API and sulfur.  Mr. Don Hamilton of Gary-Williams has drafted a memo and he and Aaron plan on distributing it by end February.  Anyone wishing to peruse this memo prior to distribution should please contact the facilitator for a draft copy.

Update on CCQTA Projects – Mr. Tim Blackmore of Enbridge Pipelines updated us on the Canadian projects.  The phosphorus committee has success to report with the introduction of phosphorus removal technology and also phosphorus free additives.  Both processes are in the developmental stage.  Laboratory testing to aid in the additive screening project continues.  The BS&W project is also in the sampling and testing stage.  The last samples for the light, sweet Canadian crudes were taken in September and Crude Quality Inc. is summarizing the results.  A similar sampling and testing project for heavy crudes is in the sign up stage.

COQA Web Site and Budget Report – The COQA web page is now under  Comments on the financials or the web page are welcome, please contact the COQA facilitator.

Report on Water Measurement Discussion Group - The final version of the discussion paper was distributed to all COQA members in November.

Other Business – The Steering Committee decided to initiate a task force on moving the industry forward towards adopting the “best available” technology for water measurement.  The task force will meet the morning of the next COQA meeting date.

Next Meeting - The next meeting will be held in Houston on May 31.

Tish Marshall, COQA Facilitator