Inspectioneering Journal

Driving Better AIM Decisions Through Crude Assays

By Thomas Phan at Bureau Veritas Inspectorate, and Mike Bartholmey at Bureau Veritas Inspectorate. This article appears in the March/April 2013 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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For crude oil refiners and traders, information is the lifeblood of their operations and business decisions. The information obtained by crude oil assays, which includes physical properties and compositional analysis of a crude oil, provides in-depth insight and serves as an important decision-making tool. Analysis on measurements such as crude’s nitrogen, sulfur content, viscosity, freeze and flash points, helps businesses up and down the value chain make more informed decisions related to setting key processing goals, pricing and evaluating crude oil quality.

In recent years, crude assays have gained greater prominence as an analysis tool in North America, driven in part by the significant growth in shale oil production. The rest of the world is now taking notice of the benefits crude assays provide, and are eager to conduct them on a more routine basis. To gain the most benefit from this analysis, they are relying on third-party assay providers to characterize and catalog their crudes in a thorough and efficient manner, using a standardized set of analytical tools and criteria that ensure the same results are obtained from any lab in the world.

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