Crude oil quality has been a hot topic lately. With the increase in waterborne activity along the Gulf Coast, a high-quality barrel is desired now more than ever. Permian WTI exports have continued to increase as production rises and refining capacity remains relatively stagnant (outside of ExxonMobil’s recent Beaumont expansion). This has resulted in more scrutiny on Permian quality and more concerns rising to the surface — both from the pockets of lower-quality WTI produced at the wellhead and from blending by market participants, as many midstream providers and traders have become efficient at capturing arbitrage opportunities. Recent WTI quality concerns have primarily been around metal content, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and mercaptans, while nitrogen has become a major issue in the natural gas market. In today’s RBN blog, we look at the issue of mercaptans in WTI.