It has been established that Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) may accumulate in the oil/gas production process. This can create a radiation hazard for workers, the general public and the environment if adequate controls are not established.
Regulations and guidelines on radiation protection in general, and NORM in particular, have been issued by various National and International entities, however, these are not specific to the oil and gas industry, and do not provide clear and concise guidlines to enable NORM to be managed effectively.
The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) established a task force, headed by Saudi Aramco, to develop NORM Management Guidelines. This task was completed after research, review and thorough consideration of most available NORM regulations, and the industry's current best practices in NORM management. The OGP guidelines offer a simple and logical method of managing NORM impacted operations that are flexible enough to be implemented across the industry.
This paper outlines major aspects of OGP NORM management guidelines and elaborates on key issues related to the management of NORM in the oil and gas industry, in particular on NORM monitoring, control of NORM contaminated equipment, managing NORM waste handling and disposal, and worker protection, awareness and training.