It has been established that Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) may accumulate at various locations along the oil/gas production process. Components such as wellheads, separation vessels, pumps, and other processing equipment can become NORM contaminated, and NORM can accumulate in the form of sludge, scale, scrapings and other waste media. This can create a potential radiation hazard to workers, general public and the environment if certain controls are not established.
Saudi Aramco has developed NORM management guidelines and is implementing a comprehensive strategy to address all aspects of NORM management which aim towards enhancing:
Control of NORM contaminated equipment
Control over NORM waste handling and disposal
Workers protection, awareness, and training
The benefits of shared knowledge, best practice and, experience across the oil & gas industry are seen as key to the establishment of common guidance.
This paper outlines Saudi Aramco's experience in the development of a NORM management strategy and its goals of establishing common guidance throughout the oil and gas industry.