Produced water is an inevitable feature of oil and gas production. It is a liquid phase that is associated to oil and gas in the reservoir and co-produced during production operations. Following treatment, the water may be reinjected into the reservoir or discharged, subject to controls on residual oil and chemical content which may be derived from the reservoir or from chemicals added to the production process. “Although results from environmental monitoring have shown little or no environmental impact to date, our industry is taking its responsibility seriously and is committed to demonstrating responsible management of such discharges,” says Sureiya Pochee, IOGP Environment Committee Manager. The new IOGP Report 633 – Risk Based Assessment of Offshore Produced Water Discharges aims to broaden the understanding and acceptance of Risk Based Assessment (RBA) techniques. The report promotes RBA as a valuable tool, which can be used from the design stage through to the end of field life, to evaluate risks and help understand the potential effects of produced water discharges. “This report is a quite technical one as it covers a complex discipline, however its contribution to environmental management in the industry is invaluable.” Sureiya adds.
The key objectives of the report are
- to provide an overview of the RBA process as it is applied to offshore produced water discharges in both the design and operational stages of a project
- to give practitioners information about key steps in the process and the options available within these steps
- to provide a framework that allows a RBA to be designed and implemented efficiently
- to facilitate demonstration of acceptable risks for offshore produced water discharges
“Applying ecological risk assessment principles in the management of produced water discharges enables us in a much better way to address local environmental sensitivities,” Mathijs Smit, Chair of the IOGP Produced Water Task Force, says.
“Finalizing this document is just the first step towards success. The biggest challenge however is yet to come: convincing operators and regulators of adopting and applying the principles described. And IOGP has a significant role to play in this part.”