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Title: Options and costs for offsite disposal of oil and gas exploration and production wastes.

Abstract

In the United States, most of the exploration and production (E&P) wastes generated at onshore oil and gas wells are disposed of or otherwise managed at the well site. Certain types of wastes are not suitable for onsite management, and some well locations in sensitive environments cannot be used for onsite management. In these situations, operators must transport the wastes offsite for disposal. In 1997, Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) prepared a report that identified offsite commercial disposal facilities in the United States. This information has since become outdated. Over the past year, Argonne has updated the study through contacts with state oil and gas agencies and commercial disposal companies. The new report, including an extensive database for more than 200 disposal facilities, provides an excellent reference for information about commercial disposal operations. This paper describes Argonne's report. The national study provides summaries of the types of offsite commercial disposal facilities found in each state. Data are presented by waste type and by disposal method. The categories of E&P wastes in the database include: contaminated soils, naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), oil-based muds and cuttings, produced water, tank bottoms, and water-based muds and cuttings. The different waste management or disposal methodsmore » in the database involve: bioremediation, burial, salt cavern, discharge, evaporation, injection, land application, recycling, thermal treatment, and treatment. The database includes disposal costs for each facility. In the United States, most of the 18 billion barrels (bbl) of produced water, 149 million bbl of drilling wastes, and 21 million bbl of associated wastes generated at onshore oil and gas wells are disposed of or otherwise managed at the well site. However, under certain conditions, operators will seek offsite management options for these E&P wastes. Commercial disposal facilities are offsite businesses that accept and manage E&P wastes for a fee. Their services include waste management and disposal, transportation, cleaning of vehicles and tanks, disposal of wash water, and, in some cases, laboratory analysis. Commercial disposal facilities offer a suite of waste management methods and technologies.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
FE; NETL
OSTI Identifier:
982602
Report Number(s):
ANL/EVS/CP-58197
TRN: US201015%%1212
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: SPE E&P Environmental and Safety Conference; Mar. 5, 2007 - Mar. 7, 2007; Galveston, TX
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; EXPLORATION; GROUND DISPOSAL; MANAGEMENT; NATURAL GAS WELLS; OILS; PRODUCTION; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; SAFETY; SALT CAVERNS; SOLAR PROTONS; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTES; WATER

Citation Formats

Puder, M. G., Veil, J. A., and Environmental Science Division. Options and costs for offsite disposal of oil and gas exploration and production wastes.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Puder, M. G., Veil, J. A., & Environmental Science Division. Options and costs for offsite disposal of oil and gas exploration and production wastes.. United States.
Puder, M. G., Veil, J. A., and Environmental Science Division. Mon . "Options and costs for offsite disposal of oil and gas exploration and production wastes.". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_982602,
title = {Options and costs for offsite disposal of oil and gas exploration and production wastes.},
author = {Puder, M. G. and Veil, J. A. and Environmental Science Division},
abstractNote = {In the United States, most of the exploration and production (E&P) wastes generated at onshore oil and gas wells are disposed of or otherwise managed at the well site. Certain types of wastes are not suitable for onsite management, and some well locations in sensitive environments cannot be used for onsite management. In these situations, operators must transport the wastes offsite for disposal. In 1997, Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) prepared a report that identified offsite commercial disposal facilities in the United States. This information has since become outdated. Over the past year, Argonne has updated the study through contacts with state oil and gas agencies and commercial disposal companies. The new report, including an extensive database for more than 200 disposal facilities, provides an excellent reference for information about commercial disposal operations. This paper describes Argonne's report. The national study provides summaries of the types of offsite commercial disposal facilities found in each state. Data are presented by waste type and by disposal method. The categories of E&P wastes in the database include: contaminated soils, naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), oil-based muds and cuttings, produced water, tank bottoms, and water-based muds and cuttings. The different waste management or disposal methods in the database involve: bioremediation, burial, salt cavern, discharge, evaporation, injection, land application, recycling, thermal treatment, and treatment. The database includes disposal costs for each facility. In the United States, most of the 18 billion barrels (bbl) of produced water, 149 million bbl of drilling wastes, and 21 million bbl of associated wastes generated at onshore oil and gas wells are disposed of or otherwise managed at the well site. However, under certain conditions, operators will seek offsite management options for these E&P wastes. Commercial disposal facilities are offsite businesses that accept and manage E&P wastes for a fee. Their services include waste management and disposal, transportation, cleaning of vehicles and tanks, disposal of wash water, and, in some cases, laboratory analysis. Commercial disposal facilities offer a suite of waste management methods and technologies.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • In the United States, most exploration and production (E&P) wastes generated at onshore oil and gas wells--contaminated soils, naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), oil-based muds and cuttings, produced water, tank bottoms, and water-based muds and cuttings--are disposed of or otherwise managed at the well site. Some of these E&P wastes, however, are not suitable for onsite management, and some well locations in sensitive environments cannot be used for onsite management. In these situations, operators must find offsite waste-disposal solutions. Responding to this need, offsite commercial disposal facilities are businesses that charge a fee for accepting and managing E&P wastes generatedmore » by others. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), the authors of this paper assembled a unique set of data covering options, methods, and costs for offsite disposal of E&P wastes in the United States (Puder and Veil 2006a). Data were collected for more than 200 disposal facilities. This paper describes the project and the findings, which were published in September 2006.« less
  • A survey conducted in 1995 by the American Petroleum Institute (API) found that the U.S. exploration and production (E&P) segment of the oil and gas industry generated more than 149 million bbl of drilling wastes, almost 18 billion bbl of produced water, and 21 million bbl of associated wastes. The results of that survey, published in 2000, suggested that 3% of drilling wastes, less than 0.5% of produced water, and 15% of associated wastes are sent to offsite commercial facilities for disposal. Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) collected information on commercial E&P waste disposal companies in different states in 1997. Whilemore » the information is nearly a decade old, the report has proved useful. In 2005, Argonne began collecting current information to update and expand the data. This report describes the new 2005-2006 database and focuses on the availability of offsite commercial disposal companies, the prevailing disposal methods, and estimated disposal costs. The data were collected in two phases. In the first phase, state oil and gas regulatory officials in 31 states were contacted to determine whether their agency maintained a list of permitted commercial disposal companies dedicated to oil. In the second stage, individual commercial disposal companies were interviewed to determine disposal methods and costs. The availability of offsite commercial disposal companies and facilities falls into three categories. The states with high oil and gas production typically have a dedicated network of offsite commercial disposal companies and facilities in place. In other states, such an infrastructure does not exist and very often, commercial disposal companies focus on produced water services. About half of the states do not have any industry-specific offsite commercial disposal infrastructure. In those states, operators take their wastes to local municipal landfills if permitted or haul the wastes to other states. This report provides state-by-state summaries of the types of offsite commercial disposal facilities that are found in each state. In later sections, data are presented by waste type and then by disposal method.« less
  • Salt caverns can be formed through solution mining in the bedded or domal salt formations that are found in many states. Salt caverns have traditionally been used for hydrocarbon storage, but caverns have also been used to dispose of some types of wastes. This paper provides an overview of several years of research by Argonne National Laboratory on the feasibility and legality of using salt caverns for disposing of oil field wastes, the risks to human populations from this disposal method, and the cost of cavern disposal. Costs are compared between the four operating US disposal caverns and other commercialmore » disposal options located in the same geographic area as the caverns. Argonne`s research indicates that disposal of oil field wastes into salt caverns is feasible and legal. The risk from cavern disposal of oil field wastes appears to be below accepted safe risk thresholds. Disposal caverns are economically competitive with other disposal options.« less
  • Section 3001(b)(2)(A) of the 1980 Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) temporarily exempted several types of solid waste from regulation under the Federal hazardous-waste control program. These exempted wastes included drilling fluids, produced waters, and other wastes associated with the exploration, development, or production of crude oil or natural gas or geothermal energy. Section 8002(m) of the RCRA Amendments requires EPA to study these wastes and submit a final report to Congress. The report responds to those requirements. This is volume 3 of 3 reports to Congress. The volume contains the Appendices which include a summary of:more » (1) State oil and gas regulatory programs; and (2) the damage cases compiled for the oil and gas industry. A glossary of oil and gas industry terms is also included in the volume.« less
  • Section 3001(b) (2) (A) of the 1980 Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) temporarily exempted several types of solid waste from regulation under the Federal hazardous-waste control program. This volume covers the oil and gas industry. The report was designed to respond specifically to each of the study factors that are listed in the various paragraphs of Section 8002(m) of RCRA. Each study factor is addressed in separate chapters or sections of chapters. Following the design, the volume includes: (1) a description of the oil and gas industry; (2) definition of exempt waste, including the scope ofmore » the exemption; (3) waste volume estimates for drilling fluids and produced waters; (4) characterization of waste; (5) descriptions of current and alternative waste-management practices; (6) descriptions of damage cases from oil and gas extraction; (7) a risk assessment of waste-management practices; (8) costs and economic impacts of alternative waste-management practices; (9) descriptions of current State and Federal programs applicable to oil and gas extraction; (10) conclusions and recommendations; and (11) bibliographies by chapter of references.« less