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ADCO develops first Gulf system for drilling waste management

Posted: 21 May 2004

The Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Exploration (ADCO) has developed and implemented a comprehensive strategy for managing hazardous drilling wastes,based on the "Golden Rules" : reduce, reuse and recycle with a goal to mitigate the impact of its operations on the environment.

Under the strategy at least 99.95 per cent of oil from cuttings is reclaimed as a fuel and recovered water is used for garden irrigation.
''The thermal desorption process is "state of the art" technology and the first implementation on a large scale in the Gulf. Oil-based Mud (OBM) is recycled and reused by other rigs and at least 99.95% of oil from OBM cuttings is reclaimed as a fuel. The final cuttings leaving the plant, with <0.05% hydrocarbons, are totally inert and used for manufacturing cement blocks. Recovered water, with less than 10 ppm oil, is routed to develop green pastures and trees around the thermal treatment plant, ADCO said.

The strategy, ''Total Solution to Drilling Waste Management'', was the first of its kind in the Gulf region and gave the company competitive edge win the top accolade in ADNOC 2003 HSE award for environment.

Financially, the cost savings are estimated at 4.7 million dollars a year. ADCO Drilling Division has been increasingly confronted with problems related to the disposal of drilling hazardous wastes. Last year, ADCO executed and integrated three environmental projects in Asab and Habshan fields demontrationg total solutions for managing wastes from drilling oil and gas wells.

''Such global approach of waste management is new to the region and the
experience would certainly benefit ADNOC group and other oil companies
in the world. Also, the thermal desorption plant could be used to treat
other oily wastes including tank bottom sludges and contaminated soils
resulting from oil spills,'' ADCO added.

''The new approach adds significant benefits for road safety by eliminating more than 150,000 km for transporting heavy goods annually, compared to previous hauling to Ruwais oil facilities.

ADCO is proud to be a pioneer in tackling the challenges of drilling waste disposal and setting new benchmark for others to follow. BP has already acknowleded ADCO OBM cuttings treatment plant and listed as best environmental practice on BP global network.

A similar project is being executed by a BP subsidary in Azerbaijan.

The outcome of ADCO solutions is converting drilling hazardous wastes through 100 per cent recycling into environmentally-friendly and beneficially-used products exceeding ADNOC and international standards without impacting human health and the environment.
''Such global approach is the first in the Gulf Region and is setting a new benchmark for others to follow.

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Posted by Richard Price, Editor

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