This report reviews scientific literature on the fate and effects of ocean discharge of drill cuttings and associated drilling fluids from offshore oil and gas operations.
Water-based and non-aqueous drilling fluids and drill cuttings are the largest waste streams generated in offshore drilling operations.
Regulations in many countries permit the disposal of these wastes by discharge into the marine environment under certain conditions. Although disposal by overboard discharge has the potential to cause some environmental disturbance, it can be a preferred waste management option when the overall operational risks, life cycle economics and environmental impacts, are compared against those of alternative waste management techniques.
The information in this report will facilitate development of environmentally responsible waste management options for drilling fluids and cuttings based on scientific data and risk management principles.
This report is supplemented by data tables, as described in Appendix C. It is included as part of this report.
IOGP Report 543