Objectives/Scope: An ongoing issue for many operators is the need to be able to safely and quickly remediate environmental issues. Of particular interest are the cleanup of petroleum productsd, and the cleanup of produced water, which often has extremely high levels of Chlorides (Cl-), and may include hydrocarbon components. This paper will discuss a methodology that has been applied in over 1400 locations
Methods, Procedures, Process: Methods used in the past have been difficult and expensive, often causing issues with the disposal of contaminated soil.
Attempts have been made for many years to perform in-situ remediation. In the 1950's, processes were developed that enhance the growth of naturally occurring microbes by applying a culture of microbes and enzymes to the affected area.
The process studied has been used in over 1400 individual locations, providing a rich data set for analysis. Differences in how the processes were executed have resulted in variances in the results and the scope of the treatment required to meet environmental standards. This paper will document the work, and identify features and techniques that enhanced or diminished success rates. Processes will then be optimized to maximize the consistency of results at minimum cost.
Results, Observations, Conclusions: Six treatments are described in this abstract as representative examples of the effectiveness of the process. The first treatment reviewed involved remediation of a wellsite in West Texas near Garden City, TX. The treatment resulted in reductions of Cl- contamination by 83% to 99%. The second treatment reviewed was completed on another site near Garden City, TX where a produced water spill had contaminated cotton fields. Reduction of contaminants at this site was over 99%. The third treatment reviewed was a site in Fisher County, TX, where a spill contaminated a pond on the site. Reductions of Cl- up to 84% were observed, and hydrocarbon contaminants were reduced over 99%. The fourth description involves a site in Gaines County, Texas that experienced a produced water spill in April 2016. As a result of the spill, the initial contamination of the soil was tested to be 30,000 PPM. The area was treated using the process and the biological agent. Within twenty-one days, the salt level in the soil had been reduced to 900 PPM. Local plant life was observed to be growing in the formerly contaminated soil within twenty-eight days. The fifth description involved a site in Fisher County, Texas, where a pipeline leak contaminated soil. Samples were taken at several locations at the surface, and at depths of 48" and 60" to evaluate ground penetration. Post treatment samples indicated reductions of 57% to 99.99%. The sixth description involved a site in Jal, New Mexico where crude oil was spilled into a storm sewer, and the oil flowed into a sewage treatment plant. The site and the sewage plant were treated, and reductions of hydrocarbons were observed to be 98%-99% of the original sample values.
The processes described in this paper offer a significant benefit not only to the oil and gas producing community, but also to the general public in that the ability to restore previously damaged soil enhances the environment we live and work in.