This paper discusses the complexities that E&P service companies face in the U.S. as they manage their air compliance program for their base facilities, wellsite operations, and transportation fleets while tackling the enormous amount of federal, state, county, and local air regulations. Examples of point sources (e.g., chemical blending facilities), pollution-control devices (e.g., dust collectors), and fugitive emissions (e.g., cutting sacks of dry chemicals) found within the oilfield services sector are presented, and discussions of air permit or permit exemption requirements are included for each example.
This paper is intended to share best practices for establishing and maintaining an air compliance program, including the tools (e.g., compliance matrix) and systematic techniques for managing air compliance. These practices have application across state boundaries, regardless of the site location. The compliance program includes: 1) determining if a site(s) is currently in compliance with applicable air regulations, permits or permit exemptions, including aspects related to preplanning and scope, whom to involve, audit privilege, and disclosure; 2) bringing a site into compliance once nonconformances have been identified, 3) maintaining compliance even if operational changes such as human factors, equipment, chemicals, or new construction occur, and 4) implementing operational controls to ensure compliance with continual regulatory changes.
This paper was submitted for a student paper session at the conference.It was included in the proceedings as STUDENT25.
Some of drilling fluids are a mixture of many components including organic as well as inorganic polymers. In order to assure stable parameters and the required technological parameters of drilling fluids, all components must be resistant to downhole conditions. At the same time it would be beneficial if the drilling fluids were biodegradable after the drilling process. As such they would have less of an environmental impact and would be easier to utilize. Organic polymer-based drilling fluids are efficient and environmentally-acceptable, but sensitive to biodegradation so they are treated with biocides. The treatment adds toxicity and makes the waste fluid difficult to dispose off . The challenge in polymer fluid fomulation is to reduce biodegradation of active (while drilling) fluid and increase biodegradation of the waste fliud. Presented in this paper is a study of drilling properties and environmental performance of fluid based on newly synthesized ampholyte polymer.
Drilling performance of the new fluid was evaluated with regard to rheology, filtration, salt and temperature resistance. Samples of the fluid were tested using API Standard Methods.
Environmental study addressed the fluid biodegradation. Biodegradability was investigated using Merck method. The Merck method uses testers with agar surfaces. The bacterial count/ml of the sample is determined by comparing the density of the colonies appearing on the slide with densities shown on the model chart.
The results were compared to results for fluids with starchagents.
The results show that polyampholytic-starch fluid is biodegradable by bacteria but still has good and stable rheological parameters and filtration.
The findings show the advantages of polyampholytes and drilling fluid with polyampholyte components and provide some perspectives for industrial implementation.
A new concept, which combines existing fieldproven technology with newinnovative features, has been evaluated as an attractive technique forcollection and retrieval of top-hole drill cuttings, excavated during offshoredrilling.Simplified, the presented technique is based on using a collarthat is thread on the drill string prior to the spudding in commences.Thecollar is fitted with a connecting hose and a pump that help suck the fluid andthe excavated drill cuttings into settling and filtration bags.Aftercollection of solids the bags are easily displaced.By its simplicity andefficiency the technology appears as an attractive solution for drilling wellsin sensitive areas where a zero discharge regime of drill cuttings prevail.
Kazakhstan based oil & gas companies recover approximately 2,000 to 3,000 metric tons per day of elemental sulfur from their product streams (approximately 500 tons of elemental sulfur is recovered for every 100,000 barrels of extracted petroleum in Kazakhstan). The bulk of the sulfur is recovered by Tengizchevroil (TCO).In Europe and the United States recovered elemental sulfur is normally sold into the chemical and manufacturing market as a raw material for:
phosphate fertilizer (50%)
sulfuric acid, detergents, and other chemicals
metal and fiber industries
By-product elemental sulfur can potentially be used as a binder replacement in petroleum asphalt and Portland concrete as sulfur modified asphalt and concrete to meet or exceed American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and/or American Concrete Institute (ACI) standards.
Potential Applications for Sulfur Polymer Concrete & Sulfur Extended Asphalt
Improving the highway infrastructure using sulfur modified concrete and asphalt might be a steady outlet for locally produced elemental sulfur.The sulfur extended asphalt can extend current Kazakhstan asphalt production capabilities by upwards of fifty weight percent (25 volume percent).
Other potential outlets for Kazakhstan produced sulfur include:
Sulfur polymer concrete slabs and blocks for construction
Sulfur Polymer Stabilization Solidification for radioactive and mercury contaminated materials
Screening-level Ecological Assessment for Sulfur Modified Concrete and Asphalt
The environmental behavior of these sulfur-modified construction materials resembles that of conventional Portland cement concrete and hot mix paving asphalt, except for the possible release of sulfur to the environment.
Kazakhstan based oil & gas companies recover up to 3,000 metric tons per day of elemental sulfur from their product streams (approximately 500 tons of elemental sulfur is recovered for every 100,000 barrels of extracted petroleum in Kazakhstan . The bulk of the sulfur is recovered by Tengizchevroil (TCO).
The developing Kashagan East prospect is pre-salt and involves drilling to a depth of approximately 5,000 meters.It has been predicted that any oil discovered in this area is most likely to be similar to Tengiz crude, i.e. exceptionally light and with a high H2S content and therefore requiring market outlets for recovered elemental sulfur.This field could more than double recovered elemental sulfur in Kazakhstan.
The Tengizchevroil and Kashagan East fields and production treatment facilities are within a very sensitive environmental and geopolitical area of the world with multiple important stakeholders, including consortium partners and Kazakhstan regulators.
In Europe and the United States recovered elemental sulfur is normally sold into the chemical and manufacturing market as a raw material for:
1) phosphate fertilizer (50%)
2) sulfuric acid, detergents, and other chemicals
3) metal and fiber industries
4) paint manufacture
5) rubber products
The availability of onshore Federal lands for oil and gas exploration and production is the subject of a polarized debate.Industry interests claim that an excessive amount of Federal land is locked up; environmental interests assert that almost all the public lands are available for oil and gas leasing with few restrictions.The EPCA inventory represents an effort to supply a quantitative assessment of the situation.
Much of the environmental and technical data useful to the oil and gas industry and regulatory agencies is now contained in disparate state and federal databases.Delays in coordinating permit approvals between federal and state agencies translate into increased operational costs and stresses for the oil and gas industry.Making federal lease stipulation and area restriction data available on state agency Web sites will streamline a potential lessors review of available leases, encourage more active bidding on unleased federal lands, and give third-party operators independent access to data who otherwise may not have access to lease restrictions and other environmental data.
As a requirement of the Energy Policy Conservation Act (EPCA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of inventorying oil and natural gas resources beneath onshore federal lands and the extent and nature of any stipulation, restrictions, or impediments to the development of these resources.
The EPCA Phase 1 Inventory resulted in a collection of GIS coverage files organized according to numerous lease stipulation reference codes. Meanwhile, state agencies also collect millions of data elements concerning oil and gas operations.Much of the oil and gas data nationwide is catalogued in the Ground Water Protection Council's (GWPC's) successfully completed Risk Based Data Management System (RBDMS).
The GWPC and the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Montana are implementing a pilot project where BLM lease stipulation data and RBDMS data will be displayed in a GIS format on the Internet.This increased access to data will increase bid activity, help expedite permitting, and encourage exploration on federal lands.
Linking environmental, lease stipulation, and resource inventory assessment data and making a GIS interface for the data available to industry and other agencies via the internet represents an important step in the GWPC strategy for all oil and gas regulatory e-commerce.The next step beyond mere data sharing for facilitating the permitting process is to make it possible for industry to file those permit applications electronically.This process will involve the use of common XML schemas.
This paper describes the coordinated effort being undertaken by the member states of GWPC, BLM, POSC (Petrotechnical Open Standards Consortium), MMS (Mineral Management Service), and others to make this effort a reality.
Management of produced water presents challenges and costs to operators. If the entire process of lifting, treating, and reinjecting can be avoided, costs are likely to be reduced. Oil and gas industry engineers have developed various technologies that separate oil from water or gas from water inside wells. These devices are known as downhole oil/water separators (DOWS, or according to some, DHOWS) and downhole gas/water separators (DGWS).This paper summarizes a recent report by Argonne National Laboratory that provides data on 59 DOWS trials and 62 DGWS trials from around the world. The report focused on the performance success of each trial and the geological conditions of the producing and injection formations.The goal of the study was to identify the types of geological formations that would present the best chance of success for future DOWS or DGWS trials.Upon reviewing these DOWS and DGWS installations, we concluded that it was not possible to predict the success of an installation solely on the basis of the geology of the production formation or injection formation.
Allowing disposal of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM) from petroleum exploration and production in non-hazardous waste landfills was proposed in a U.S. Deparment of Energy study. TENORM often contains radium that is a source of radon.Diffusion through soil and other cover materials is commonly regarded as the dominant radon transport process from land disposal units.Biogas generation in landfills may increase radon emissions relative to diffusion-dominated sites.
A numerical gas flow and transport model was used to simulate potential radon emissions from radium-bearing TENORM in solid waste landfills and land disposal sites where TENORM is co-disposed with oily waste. The landfill scenarios considered the effect of landfill gas generation potential and rate, cover construction, TENORM disposal method, and gas control methodology on radon emissions. The co-disposal scenarios investigated the effect of biogas generation rate, organic carbon partitioning, and cover construction on radon emissions. Gas generation was found to significantly increase radon emissions from landfills. Depending on the nature of the gas management system, atmospheric radon concentrations could exceed background level both on-site and off-site. The effect of biogas generation on radon emissions from co-disposal sites was found to be strongly dependent on the hydrocarbon content of the waste.
The results of this investigation provide guidance for selecting appropriate TENORM disposal options and for evaluating the potential environmental liabilities associated with the options.
As oil and gas industry employees are located in sub-Sahara African countries and other areas where malaria is endemic, non-immune workers need to adopt multiple strategies to prevent contracting this potentially fatal disease. Awareness training, personal protection against mosquito bites and vector control measures are all important in reducing Anopheles mosquito bites.
In addition, the prevention of malaria in non-immune individuals relies heavily on the proper use of effective anti-malarial medications, i.e., chemoprophylactic agents.In spite of implementing a comprehensive Malaria Control Program (MCP) and contractually requiring its contractors to implement similarly effective programs for their employees, ExxonMobil affiliates and projects (ExxonMobil) continued to experience Falciparum malaria cases among contractors' non-immune employees assigned to ExxonMobil, including two fatalities.
A multidisciplinary team was formed to identify opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of the MCP. One of the team's key recommendations was to develop and implement a Malaria Chemoprophylaxis Compliance Program (MCCP) to address identified malaria chemoprophylaxis use shortcomings.
At the heart of the MCCP is the random, unannounced acquisition of urine specimens from non-immune individuals for laboratory verification of the presence of an effective anti-malaria medication. Novel laboratory analytical methods were developed and validated, and forensic-type chain of custody specimen handling procedures were adopted. Individuals producing non-conforming specimens are subjected to a confidential medical review process to determine their ongoing fitness-for-duty in malarial areas. The MCCP was implemented in Chad and Cameroon, then in Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria.As other countries with ExxonMobil employees and contractors working in upstream and downstream operations are added to the MCCP, it is becoming clear that malaria prevention should be treated like other safety initiatives.
Traditionally, employees are issued properly fitted respirators and hard hats to prevent injuries and diseases from hazardous exposures.To be effective, employees need to be educated in the proper use of these PPEs and self-motivated to use them.Likewise, managers must ensure that employees traveling to malarial areas are issued appropriate chemoprophylactic agents and educated in their proper use.Employees need to be motivated and willing to use the medications as prescribed for optimal program results.
Tidelands Oil Production Company was producing associated gas containing high levels of CO2 that did not meet the specification of the local utility and was being flared.An alternative use for the gas was to fuel a 2,000 horsepower internal combustion engine to drive a high-pressure water injection pump. However, the strict emission level requirements for NOX, CO and VOCs at the Southern California location required that a new emissions control design be configured and used.This paper will discuss the system design, economics and the steps taken to enable the internal combustion engine to meet the strict emissions standards of the region while using off-spec, high CO2, produced gas.