Standardization News

Crude Oil Sampling

Shippers, laboratories, regulators and others who need to safely take samples of volatile crude oils in transit will be the primary users of a new ASTM International standard (D8009, Practice for Manual Piston Cylinder Sampling for Volatile Crude Oils, Condensates and Liquid Petroleum Products).

According to ASTM member David Murray, the introduction of a new sampling tool – the manual piston cylinder – has allowed for more sampling of live crude oils and crude-condensate mixtures, which are too volatile to sample using conventional containers. The manual piston cylinder allows for sampling at low pressure points and in sealed environments.

"The most important aspect of the new standard is the ability to capture live crude oil and condensate samples in sealed containers, which minimizes the potential for loss of components during sampling, handling and transport to the laboratory for testing," says Murray, the principal consultant at Omnicon Consultants Inc. "This minimizes the risk of test results being biased by the sampling method used, thereby providing results that are representative of the source material."

"Considering the high volume of crude oil, condensate and diluent now transported by rail, truck, pipeline and ship, this standard will be very helpful," he says.

The new standard is under the joint jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants, and the American Petroleum Institute's Committee on Petroleum Measurement. It was developed in concert with two other new ASTM standards:

  • Test Method for Determination of Vapor Pressure of Crude Oil: VPCRx-F(Tm°C) (Manual Expansion Field Method) (D7975); and
  • Test Method for Determination of Light Hydrocarbons and Cut Point Intervals in Live Crude Oils and Condensates by Gas Chromatography (D8003).

Murray says that the three standards help close measurement gaps between testing in the field, sampling and analysis. D7975 allows on-site field vapor pressure measurement, which may prompt sampling via D8009 to allow transport to the laboratory to verify the field measurement by a previously approved standard (D6377, Test Method for Determination of Vapor Pressure of Crude Oil: VPCRx (Expansion Method) while D8003 can be used to perform compositional analysis to identify the specific component(s) causing the high vapor pressure.

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CONTACT Technical Information: David Murray, Omnicon Consultants Inc. • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada • tel +1.780.218.3759 | ASTM Staff: Alyson Fick • tel +1.610.832.9710 | Upcoming Meeting: June 26-30 • Bellevue, Wash.

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