Monday, March 8, 2010

FTC’s quiet octane test method proposal

It probably wasn’t the biggest recent regulatory development affecting oil and gas. Still, the Federal Trade Commission proposed adopting the on-line testing method to determine gasoline octane ratings as part of a Feb. 26 announcement primarily dealing with ethanol.

Under the 1979 Petroleum Marking Practices Act, a fuel’s octane is the average of its research and motor octane numbers, as determined using American Society for Testing and Materials Standards D2699 and D2700, respectively. ASTM subsequently adopted Standard D2885 covering the on-line comparison technique “which uses the same [test] engines but in an updated methodology that provides acquisition efficiencies and accuracies for the industry,” the FTC said.

Refiners and marketers have been urging its inclusion as an acceptable procedure. So have the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, according to the FTC. “No comments opposed allowing octane determination through the on-line method,” it added.

The more significant part of the notice dealt with adding gasoline-ethanol blends with 10-70% ethanol to the list of fuels which must be rated, certified and labeled. It also proposed new labeling requirements for all mixtures of gasoline and more than 10% ethanol, including E-85 as part of a broader year-long review of agency rules and guides. Comments must be submitted by May 21, the FTC said.

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March 9, 2010 at 3:21 AM  

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