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Brassow, Carl L.1
(1) Coastal Caverns, Inc, Houston, TX

ABSTRACT: Design and Operational History of a Non-Hazardous Oil and Gas Waste Disposal Cavern on the Texas Gulf Coast

The proper management and disposal of a wide variety of non-residential waste streams is an ever-increasing concern for most nations of the world. The large amount of exploration and drilling for oil and gas energy resources throughout the world produce hundreds of millions of barrels of waste residuals that require proper management practices. Disposal of these residuals in slat cavern disposal repositories provides a cost competitive, high volume and environmentally safe option for E & P operators, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico where there are multiple salt domes and caverns available. This paper describes briefly the regulatory framework for the permitting of a cavern, compares these initial permit requirements with new proposed regulations in the US and the EC, discusses the design elements of the facility and presents a brief operating history of the facility. The facility has been operational since August, 2000. Design elements include the new reentry well configuration including injection strings and surface facility components. Operational considerations include description of waste collection activities, transportation issues and other aspects of the facility. Economics of cavern disposal for this waste type are briefly presented.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.