The Use of Modern On-Site Bioremediation Systems to Reduce Crude Oil Contamination on Oilfield Properties
HILDEBRANDT, W. W., Groundwater Technology, Ventura, CA, and S. B. WILSON, Groundwater Technology, Concord, CA
Oil-field properties frequently have areas in which the soil has been degraded with crude oil. Soil contaminated in this manner is often considered either a hazardous waste or designated waste under regulatory guidelines. As a result, there is often concern about an owner's liabilities and the financial institution's liabilities whenever oil-field properties are transferred to new operators, abandoned, or converted to other uses such as real estate. There is also concern about the methods and relative costs to remediate soil which has been contaminated with crude oil.
Modern, well-designed, soil bioremediation systems are cost effective for the treatment of crude oil contamination, and these systems can eliminate an owner's subsequent liabilities. Compared to traditional land-farming practices, a modern on-site bioremediation system (1) requires significantly less surface area, (2) results in lower operating costs, and (3) provides more expeditious results. Compared to excavation and off-site disposal of the contaminated soil, on-site bioremediation will eliminate subsequent liabilities and is typically more cost effective.
Case studies indicate that on-site bioremediation systems have been successful at reducing the crude oil contamination in soil to levels which are acceptable to regulatory agencies in less than 10 weeks. Total costs for on-site bioremediation has ranged from $35 to $40 per cubic yard of treated soil, including excavation.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)