Oil Field Waste Management and Beneficial Use Alternatives for the Oil and Gas Industry
Ohio is realizing a rapid expansion in the oil and gas market. We may see 4,000 or more drilling permits granted in the next six years. With the development of these wells, waste streams will be generated that include drill cuttings and wastewater. Exploration of multiple wells on each drill pad could generate approximately 2,000 cubic yards of drill cuttings and approximately 10 million gallons of wastewater over the life of the wells per pad. Traditionally, drill cuttings and wastewater have been managed at municipal solid waste landfills and underground injection control wells, respectively. As technologies have improved for drilling and production, so have the options for managing these waste materials.
Although drill cuttings are regulated as a solid waste by Ohio EPA, the current regulatory framework recognizes that alternatives to traditional disposal may be considered. Similarly, residuals resulting from wastewater treatment also can be evaluated for alternate management practices. Industry and agency leaders are striving for flexibility and evolved regulations that could provide new beneficial use opportunities, understanding that some of these options may require treatment and/or material stabilization.
This poster will include flow diagrams illustrating materials management options for drill cuttings and wastewater, as well as a separate flow chart illustrating decision criteria for different management options. The poster will include new beneficial use considerations that could save oil and gas well production facility managers significant resources and support reuse and conservation initiatives.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90154©2012 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, 22-26 September 2012