Chapter 3
Contamination and Impacts of Exploration and Production Waste Constituents


Impacted waste and soil result from (1) drilling operations where drilling fluids become contaminated from discharging engine oil, chemicals or waste into the reserve pit, (2) producing operations where oil, condensate, chemicals or produced water are spilled or released onto the ground or into the reserve pit, and (3) pipeline breaks or leaks where oil and∕or produced water are released to the soil.

Rotary drilling operations result in generating drilling fluids. Drilling fluids can be:

1. Fresh water base

2. Saltwater base

3. Oil base

4. Synthetic base

5. Emulsion muds

Regardless of the type of muds used, the same contaminants frequently are observed, including changes in pH, Electrical Conductivity, Sodium Adsorption Ratio, Cation Exchange Capacity, Exchangeable Sodium Percentage and total metals. Pit solids exhibit an increased level of some constituents (up to 30 times more than the pit liquids) with an attendant increased potential for an adverse impact on the environment.

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Drilling Operations
  • 3.2.1 pH
  • 3.2.2 Electrical Conductivity (EC)
  • 3.2.3 Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR)
  • 3.2.4 Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)
  • 3.2.5 Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP)
  • 3.2.6 Total Metals
  • 3.2.7 Petroleum Hydrocarbon
  • 3.2.8 Benzene
  • 3.3 Producing Operations
  • 3.4 Impact of Contaminants

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