Introduction to Environmental Control in the Petroleum Industry
ENGINEERING This page intentionally left blank ENVIRONMENTAL
JOHN C. REIS
Gulf Publishing Company
Houston, London, Paris, Zurich, Tokyo ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
IN PETROLEUM ENGINEERING
Copyright © 1996 by Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas. All rights reserved. Printed in the
United States of America. This book, or parts thereof,
may not be reproduced in any form without permission
of the publisher.
Gulf Publishing Company
P.O. Box 2608 n Houston, Texas 77252-2608
10 9 8 7 6 54 3 21
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Reis, John C.
Environmental control in petroleum engineering /
John C. Reis.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-88415-273-1 (alk. paper)
1. Petroleum engineering—Environmental
aspects. 2. Pollution. I. Reis, John C. II. Title.
Printed on Acid-Free Paper (°°) Contents
Introduction to Environmental Control
in the Petroleum Industry 1
Overview of Environmental Issues, 2. A New Attitude. 11.
Drilling and Production Operations 18
Drilling, 18. Production. 39. Air Emissions, 57.
The Impact of Drilling and Production Operations 71
Measuring Toxicity, 71. Hydrocarbons, 77. Salt, 96.
Heavy Metals, 100. Production Chemicals, 105.
Drilling Fluids, 106. Produced Water, 120. Nuclear
Radiation, 121. Air Pollution, 126. Acoustic Impacts, 127.
Effects of Offshore Platforms, 128. Risk Assessment, 128.
Environmental Transport of Petroleum Wastes 139
Surface Paths, 139. Subsurface Paths, 140. Atmospheric
Paths, 142. References, 142. CHAPTER 5
Planning for Environmental Protection .144
Environmental Audits, 145. Waste Management Plans, 149.
Waste Management Actions, 151. Certification of Disposal
Processes, 162. Contingency Plans, 163. Employee
Training, 165. References, 166.
Waste Treatment Methods 172
Treatment of Water, 172. Treatment of Solids, 185.
Treatment of Air Emissions, 194. References, 196.
Waste Disposal Methods .......203
Surface Disposal, 203. Subsurface Disposal, 207.
Remediation of Contaminated Sites.. ....216
Site Assessment, 216. Remediation Processes, 220.
Environmental Regulations...... 230
United States Federal Regulations, 231. State
Regulations, 249. Local Regulations, 249. Regulations
in Other Countries, 249. Cost of Environmental
Compliance, 250. References, 251.
Sensitive Habitats 256
Rain Forests, 256. Arctic Regions, 257. References, 257. APPENDIX C
Major U.S. Chemical Waste Exchanges ..258
Offshore Releases of Oil 261
Natural Dispersion of Oil, 261. Enhanced Removal
of Oil, 264. References, 268.
Index 271 Acknowledgments
I would like to thank the many students who provided feedback on
the course notes that eventually lead to this book. I would also like
to thank Larry Henry for his thoughtful review of the manuscript. I
gratefully acknowledge the donation of the reports by the American
Petroleum Institute that are cited in this book. Preface
With the rise of the environmental protection movement, the
petroleum industry has placed greater emphasis on minimizing the
environmental impact of its operations. Improved environmental
protection requires better education and training of industry personnel.
There is a tremendous amount of valuable information available on
the environmental impact of petroleum operations and on ways to
minimize that impact; however, this information is scattered among
thousands of books, reports, and papers, making it difficult for industry
personnel to obtain specific information on controlling the environ-
mental effects of particular operations. This book assembles a sub-
stantial portion of this information into a single reference.
The book has been organized and written for a target audience
having little or no training in the environmental issues facing the
petroleum industry. The first chapter provides a brief overview of these
issues. The second chapter focuses on the various aspects of drilling
and production operations, while the third chapter discusses the
specific impacts associated with them. Chapter 4 discusses ways in
which toxic materials can be transported away from their release sites.
(Actual waste transport modeling is a very complex topic and
is beyond the scope of this book.) The fifth chapter presents ways
to plan and manage activities that minimize or eliminate potential
environmental impacts without severely disrupting operations.
The sixth chapter discusses the treatment of drilling and production
wastes to reduce their toxicity and/or volume before ultimate disposal.
Chapter 7 presents disposal methods for various petroleum industry
wastes. The final chapter reviews available technologies for remediat-
ing sites contaminated with petroleum wastes. A summary of major
United States federal regulations, a list of major U.S. chemical waste
exchanges, and discussions of sensitive habitats and offshore releases
of oil are provided in the appendixes.
This book has evolved from course notes developed by the author
for use in undergraduate and graduate classes. In preparing the book,
the author has read thousands of pages of papers, reports, manuals,
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