Waste Concerns With Drilling Efforts

There is a lot of concern with things negatively impacting the environment, and lately, a lot of political attention has been directed toward petroleum and become less-dependent on drilling oils and gas. Several concerns have been raised about the impact of drilling waste, as all of the activities that accompany the exploration, storage, production, and transportation of oil and gas all generate waste that holds severe risk to the environment. Without a waste management plan and the work of qualified waste fluid hauling companies, it is true that oil and gas can leave very damaging effects on the planet.

The Types of Waste

When drilling for either gas or oil, there is a certain amount of drilling fluid (or mud) that will be pumped down into the drill string to help life the drill cutting up to the surface. As the suspended drill cuttings and whatever heavy metal properties are brought to the surface, the drilling fluid is also brought back up, but separated from the rest of the materials to be re-injected back down into the drill string for more cuttings. Whatever solid cuttings have been retrieved, they are treated or ground up into slurries. These are then injected or kept and transported to a waste pit for disposal or additional treatment. However, this waste can be toxic to the local environment.

Toxicity of the Waste

Toxicity is evaluated according to how it impacts and reduces the health and life of any living organism post-exposure to the substance. Researchers and environmentalists are usually more concerned with how substances affect human life, but the overall effect on the ecosystem is hard to separate from the concern given human dependence on a well-balanced system for survival. Although unfortunate, lab tests expose animals to harmful substances and observe the effects. For off-shore drilling operations, minnows and scrimp are often used to find out the impact of waste products on their habitat. Toxicity is also measured against a time interval associated with the exposure, as well as the nature of exposure, whether injection, ingestion, or inhalation. The most damaging properties have been found to be waste lubricants like lube oil, grease, heavy metals, detergents, contaminated water mud, inorganic salts, and mineral oil.

The potential environmental impact depends on the material and the level of concentration when released into the ecosystem. Some contaminants pose greater risks than others, but the greatest areas of concern are the water bodies and air pollution. It is very important the drilling companies be kept accountable for their waste management plans if the earth is going to sustain their operating practices.