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Carole Streng, the Global Marketing Manager for Oil, Gas and Chemicals (OGC), realized soon after joining OGC in January 2010 that not all customers had a background in oil refining or laboratory processes and therefore did not always have the knowledge necessary to interpret laboratory reports or to fully understand the processes involved in analyzing samples.


Consequently, OGC held its first laboratory day for customers in 2011, to improve customer understanding of the procedures required to produce a suitable, representative sample, which will arrive at the laboratory door fit for testing and ensure reliable results at the end of the process.

The day covered issues such as:

- The correct type of sample needed to represent the cargo

- Using the correct container for samples to prevent inconsistencies in reported results

- How to seal, secure and ship samples to maintain sample integrity

- How to maintain quality control in a petroleum laboratory setting

- How samples are tested using different analytical techniques

The day also highlighted issues that can hinder the laboratory process, such as a sample becoming contaminated, time lags between drawing a sample and performing the testing procedure, an insufficient sample being supplied or an incorrect container being used (e.g. a plastic container for gasoline samples).

At its laboratory facility in West Thurrock, UK, SGS has hosted laboratory days for more than 380 client operators and staff, including representatives from companies such as BP, Chevron, P66, Petroineos, Glencore Q8 Aviation, Unipec and Shell.