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E&P Waste Management Technologies – One Size Does Not Fit All John Veil Argonne National Laboratory Argonne National Laboratory Washington, DC.

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Presentation on theme: "E&P Waste Management Technologies – One Size Does Not Fit All John Veil Argonne National Laboratory Argonne National Laboratory Washington, DC."— Presentation transcript:

1 E&P Waste Management Technologies – One Size Does Not Fit All John Veil Argonne National Laboratory Argonne National Laboratory Washington, DC

2 Acknowledgements Office of Fossil Energy

3 Where Do Oil and Gas Wastes Come From? Drilling Production Surface handling (associated wastes)

4 Most Exploration and Production (E&P) Wastes Are Nonhazardous Wastes EPA decisions in 1988 and 1993 States have regulatory authority over E&P wastes Some generic industrial wastes are hazardous Solvents, paint wastes, etc.

5 Drilling Wastes Drilling muds Drill cuttings

6 Production Wastes Produced water Produced sand Treatment, workover, and completion fluids

7 Associated Wastes Tank bottoms Contaminated soil NORM scale and sludges

8 Volume of Drilling Waste Generated Liquid Wastes (mud, completion fluid. Pit water, formation testing fluid, other liquids) Solid Wastes (cuttings, circulated cement, other solids) Note: The API surveys did not include most offshore wastes 1985 API Survey1995 API Survey Volume (bbl) 324 million (90%)109 million (74%) 38 million (10%)39 million (26%)

9 How Are Wastes Managed? Different options for different wastes Different options for different states Onsite vs. offsite

10 Methods for Disposing Solid E&P Wastes landspreading and landfarming evaporation and burial onsite incineration and other thermal treatment bioremediation and composting discharge to the ocean reuse and recycling, and underground injection

11 Offsite Commercial Disposal of Oil Field Wastes Most oil field wastes are disposed onsite but large volumes of oil field wastes are disposed offsite Type of Waste % Disposed Offsite Vol. Disposed Offsite drilling wastes 28% 102 million bbl produced water<2% <400 million bbl associated wastes52% 6 million bbl NORM >90% > 250,000 tons

12 1997 Survey of Offsite Disposal Practices oil and gas states with few or no commercial disposal companies oil and gas states with a network of commercial disposal companies

13 Method$/bbl$/yd $/ton landspread landfill/pit evaporation treat/reuse incineration injection salt cavern Disposal Costs for Oily and Solid Wastes from Interviews with Disposal Companies (does not include transportation costs)

14 Estimates of Offshore Drilling Waste Disposal Costs from Operators 1997 estimate was about $10/bbl plus transportation and cleanup costs ~$20-30/bbl 1998 data shows wide range of costs most companies - $10-$50/bbl several companies from $100-$418/bbl

15 Disposal Cost Estimates - continued during the recent SBM rulemaking, several operators submitted current cost data to EPA most extreme was Unocal that cited actual data from average cost of onshore disposal for 10 wells = $710/bbl average cost of injection for 11 wells = $318/bbl overall average cost for 21 wells = $430/bbl

16 Basis for Unocal Estimate ratio of disposed volume to cuttings volume for 5 wells 1,741 bbl cuttings generated 15,223 bbl muds and cuttings disposed 17,447 bbl washwater 19:1 cuttings to total disposed volume

17 Basis for Unocal Estimate - continued cost components considered rental of equipment and cuttings boxes rental of work boat and fuel cost clean up of cuttings boxes and vessels disposal of cuttings and washwater labor extra rig time for slowing down drilling to accommodate solids handling Source: Nelson Emery, Unocal

18 Waste Management Hierarchy Waste minimization Product substitution Reuse/recycle Reinjection of produced water for enhanced recovery Pretreatment, then reuse for landfill cover Treatment/disposal Burial Landspread Injection Discharge to surface water body Evaporation Incineration

19 Examples of Argonne Analysis of Oil Field Waste Management Technologies Waste minimization Synthetic-based muds (SBMs) Downhole oil/water separators (DOWS) Reuse/recycle Restoration of wetlands Treatment/disposal Salt cavern disposal Slurry fracture injection

20 Synthetic-Based Muds Offer Strong Drilling Performance and Low Environmental Impacts

21 Types of Drilling Fluids water-based muds (WBMs) oil-based muds (OBMs) synthetic-based muds (SBMs)

22 Advantages of SBMs performance comparable to or better than OBMs low toxicity muds are recycled some deepwater wells cannot be drilled without SBMs

23 Disadvantages of SBMs high cost uncertainty about discharging cuttings

24 Efforts to Resolve the Regulatory Barrier DOE funded study to identify and clarify the problem DOE established informal synthetic fluids discussion group EPA DOE MMS oil and gas operators drilling service companies EPA used the group to present information needs for modifying ELGs

25 EPA’s Decision to Modify Offshore ELGs for SBMs [12/97] Normally need 4-6 years to develop ELG EPA recognized environmental benefits from SBMs decided to use “expedited rulemaking” approach proposed rule in 1 year final rule in 3 years industry provided data to EPA iteratively EPA and other stakeholders met throughout the process to discuss progress and exchange information and comments

26 What Has EPA Done? Final rule 1/22/01 zero discharge of fluids not attached to cuttings cuttings discharges allowed with restrictions

27 Summary SBMs represent an innovative, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly technology EPA used expedited rulemaking process to develop new regulations for SBM cuttings discharges This is a win/win/win situation

28 Downhole Oil/Water Separators (DOWS) Offer Reduced Operating Costs and Enhanced Environmental Protection

29 What Is A Downhole Oil/Water Separator (DOWS)? tool that mounts in bottom of well and separates oil from water oil is pumped to the surface water is pumped to injection zone without coming to surface

30 Advantages of DOWS reduces produced water handling costs may increase oil production from individual wells or from a field reduces opportunity for contamination of drinking water supplies

31 Types of DOWS hydrocyclone type electric submersible pump progressing cavity pump rod pump gravity separator type rod pump

32 Diagram of Hydrocyclone-Type DOWS (Hydrosep) Source: Centrilift

33 Configuration of TAPS Source: Texaco

34 Problems Experienced injection zone too close to production zone electrical problems damage during installation erosion of pump materials and clogging of valves corrosion and scaling poor well selection

35 Summary Statistics - Performance oil to surface increased in 19 trials; decreased in 12 trials top 3 hydrocyclone DOWS increased from 457% to 1,162%; 1 lost all oil production top three gravity-type DOWS increased from 106% to 233%; 1 lost all oil production water to surface decreased in all trials hydrocyclone DOWS ranged from 29% to 97%; most over 75% gravity-type DOWS ranged from 14% to 97%; most over 75%

36 Feasibility Evaluation of Downhole Oil/Water Separator (DOWS) Technology Prepared for: U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy National Petroleum Technology Office under Contract W Eng-38 Prepared by: John A. Veil - Argonne National Laboratory Bruce G. Langhus - CH2M Hill Stan Belieu - Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission January 1999 To download a full copy of the report, go to:

37 Wetlands Restoration Using Treated Drilling Waste – A Beneficial Reuse of a Waste Product

38 Wetlands Loss greatest environmental problem facing coastal Louisiana is the loss of wetlands oil and gas industry has contributed to the loss

39 What Can Be Done? restore damaged wetlands use solid waste product from oil and gas exploration (treated drill cuttings) as a substrate for restoring wetlands

40 Background DOE funded Greenhill Petroleum to conduct studies on using treated drill cuttings to restore wetlands 1) laboratory mesocosm studies to assess growth success Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) 2) field pilot study near Venice, LA create berm out of dredged material fill inside of berm with treated cuttings plant with wetlands vegetation

41 SLU Mesocosm Studies liter growth vessels 4 3,000-liter water supply reservoirs 3 hydrological regimes four substrates 6 types of wetlands plants 2 replicates of each set of conditions

42 Results of Freshwater Mesocosm Studies cuttings treated by process A (cuttings separated from drilling fluids) low toxicity supported plant growth comparable to dredged material cuttings treated by process B (cuttings separated and stabilized in a silica matrix) poor plant growth suspected problem was high pH

43 Site Location Site Plan

44 Problems with Permits for Field Pilot Study Greenhill applied for 404 permit EPA wetlands office generally agreed, but EPA discharge permit office objected disposal of drill cuttings is subject to NPDES permit NPDES general permit prohibits discharge of drill cuttings to coastal waters

45 Argonne Asked to Get Involved formed project team DOE Argonne SLU SWACO XPLOR Energy looked for other regulatory mechanisms that would lead to a permit

46 Project XL Was Only Viable Alternative EPA Office of Reinvention program allows circumvention of existing environmental rules when applicant can show superior environmental benefits from project

47 Conclusions the concept of using treated drill cuttings for wetlands restoration is sound properly treated cuttings can support good growth the process reuses a waste product for a beneficial purpose additional work is needed to get U.S. and foreign regulators comfortable with the concept

48 Salt Caverns Represent a Cost- Effective and Safe Alternative for Disposal of Oil Field Wastes

49 The Waste Disposal Process salt caverns are initially filled with brine wastes are injected as a slurry of waste and water or brine the incoming waste displaces the brine which is brought to the surface and either sold or injected into a disposal well incoming waste brine

50 Caverns Act Like Giant Oil/Water/Solids Separators solids sink to the bottom and oil floats to the top as wastes fill the cavern, the end of the tubing is raised so that filling can continue.

51 Cavern Failure Is Most Likely to Occur after Closure creeping action of salt geothermal heat modeling of liquid-filled caverns indicates: elevated pressures low likelihood of leaks and failures solids-filled caverns will be equally or less likely to fail

52 Results of Risk Analysis carcinogens [goal: excess cancer risk ] Chemical Risk best-estimate worst-case % release noncarcinogens [goal: hazard index <1.0] Chemical Risk best-estimate worst-case % release

53 Disposal Caverns Are Safe for E&P and NORM Waste Disposal even when all caverns leak, the modeled risks are within or below the acceptable risk ranges human health risks from cavern disposal of oil field wastes are very low

54 Conclusions cavern disposal of E&P and NORM waste is technically feasible cavern disposal poses very low human health risks


56 Slurry Fracture Injection Can Represent a Cost-Effective and Safe Alternative for Disposal of Oil Field Wastes

57 Types of Underground Injection of Solid or Semisolid Wastes Salt caverns Sub-fracture injection Newpark Annular injection Slurry fracture injection (SFI)

58 What Is Slurry Fracture Injection (SFI)? Solid material is ground into small particles Pumped into a formation at high pressure Formation fractures allowing slurry to move into rock

59 Layout of Equipment Photos courtesy of Terralog Technologies

60 Many Names for the Process SFI (trademarked) FSI Cuttings reinjection Grind and inject Others?

61 Examples of SFI Single-well annular injection Several offshore Gulf of Mexico contractors Occasional onshore wells Large scale injection projects Alaska – ARCO & BP Louisiana – Chevron California - Terralog Canada – Terralog Photo courtesy of Terralog Technologies

62 Project Scope 1. Identify and describe existing injection technologies (SFI and other) 2. Identify commercial disposal companies that use SFI 3. Develop database of sites/facilities where SFI of oil field wastes has occurred

63 Scope – continued 4. Compile directory of state, federal, and international (where applicable) requirements for SFI Laws, regulations, policies Identify areas where SFI is prohibited 5. Develop information on actual and avoided costs of SFI 6. Prepare report 7. Disseminate information through publications, conference presentations, and workshops (if necessary)

64 International Perspective Many developing countries do not have well-established E&P waste requirements or infrastructure U.S. companies operating there may face limited and costly disposal options Ex: oil-based muds in Mexico must be managed by thermal desorption Efforts to develop a risked-based framework for waste management

65 Opciones para el Manejo de Recortes de Emulsion Inversa prueba para TPH >xxx ppm Opciones Disorpion termica pozo de inyeccion domo salino otras tecnologias < xxx ppm prueba para cloruros < 3000 ppm Opciones Disorpion termica pozo de inyeccion domo salino tratamiento y reutilizacion relleno o confinamiento dispersion en caminos dispersion en sitio otras tecnologias Opciones > 3000 ppm Disorpion termica pozo de inyeccion domo salino tratamiento y reutilizacion relleno o confinamiento otras tecnologias

66 Limites aceptables TPH cloruros requerimientos de los sitios distancia de las corrientes profundidad del manto freatico requerimientos de construccion contenedores pared de los contenedores requerimientos de operacion agregar nutrientes y disces dentro del suelo tratar los residuos conociendo los objectivos para reutilizacion requerimientos regulatorios monitoreo informes Ejemplos de Criterios de Manejo


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