Standards are documents that provide requirements, specifications, and guidelines for consistent testing and analysis. Oil and gas industry standards simplify testing procedures, assure accuracy, and minimize the cost of petroleum and petroleum product transactions, both nationally and internationally.

Areas of petroleum and petroleum product testing include composition, BTU content, boiling point range, corrosive content, and trace contaminants. Analytes of interest include aromatics, oxygenates, hydrocarbons, sulfur, metals, and inorganic acids.

An additional area of interest is industrial water process testing in refineries. During distillation, acidic and toxic gases (e.g., H2S, CO2) are formed. Scrubber solutions, or aqueous amines, are used to neutralize the acids and prevent them from damaging expensive refinery equipment and/or escaping into the environment. In a similar fashion, amines added to boiler and cooling water (used to control the temperature of the distillation process) are added to prevent equipment corrosion and facilitate waste water management. Analytes of interest include amines, organic acids, common inorganic cations and anions, sulfur species, and metals.

The oil and gas industry relies on a wide variety of standard methods from many regulatory agencies to ensure product quality and safety and that environmental requirements are satisfied. Listed below are a few of the more commonly cited regulatory agencies.

  • GPA (Gas Processors Association) Midstream is a primary advocate in enhancing the viability of natural gas (NG) and natural gas liquids (NGL) in the US, with its cooperative research programs utilized worldwide.
  • ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is an international regulatory body with test methods across multiple industries. The ASTM D02 committee focuses on petroleum products, liquid fuels, and lubricants.
  • DIN (German Institute for Standardization) applies across multiple industries at national and international levels, including petroleum and natural gas products.
  • IP (International Petroleum) develops and publishes test methods for petroleum and petroleum products.
  • EN (European Standard) documents have been ratified by one of three European Standardization Organizations (ESOs): CEN, CENELEC, or ETSI. These documents offer test methods for crude oil, distillates, and lubricants.
  • ISO (International Organization for Standardization) offers test methods across multiple industries including natural gas, petroleum, fuels, and lubricants.
  • UOP (Universal Oil Products Collections Standards) provides guidelines for oil and petroleum products testing and analysis.

Standard methods

This table lists various regulatory standards and categorizes them according to the analyte, carbon number, and boiling point.

Standard Methods table

GPA Midstream School of Gas Chromatography

The GPA is associated with the GPA Midstream Chromatography School, a hands-on class where students learn the latest NG and NGL GPA methods and are instructed by a staff of industry experts using gas chromatography instruments. Below are videos of the class, curriculum, equipment, and instructor commentary.

Two important natural gas analysis methods are GPA 2261 (determination of BTU content in NG) and GPA 2177 (determination of BTU in NGL). Unique turnkey single-channel Thermo Scientific TRACE 1310 and TRACE 1610 gas chromatographs are available for each GPA method. Each turnkey system is also available with dual-channel configurations for increased (2X) throughput.

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