The South part of the Priobskoe field, located in Western Siberia on a flood land of the Irtysh River, is an environmentally sensitive area. Zero discharge regulations prohibit cuttings discharge and spills of liquid wastes on the surface.

Until now, the exploration and full development of such oil and gas fields was a major challenge for operating companies working in Russia as all drilling wastes including cuttings, used muds ready for be disposal, and waste waters which cannot be disposed in this sensitive area. Drilling wastes had to be transported away from the region to areas where waste disposal pits were allowed to be constructed and wastes to be stored.

The major hurdle for the drilling campaign is the cost of transportation of the vast amount of drilling waste generated from multiple rigs. Moreover, during spring or fall, such transportation is virtually impossible because of the absence of winter roads and rivers are impassable due to flooding or ice movement.

A joint effort between a major oil company in Russia and a waste management service company selected Waste Injection (WI) technology as the most efficient, economical and environmentally friendly way to handle the drilling waste in the field. Waste Injection is a relatively new waste disposal methodology used in Russia, although the first injection job on a worldwide basis was in 1991. The first Russian WI operation was successfully implemented in 2004 on offshore projects near Sakhalin Island. Since that time and until October 2008, WI had only been used on several offshore platforms. The need of a robust technology for waste management on the South Priobskoe field was the departure point for implementing WI in mainland Russia.

The following paper describes the steps taken to implement WI on land projects in Russia as the technology that allows for zero discharge, ensuring a safe and permanent drilling waste disposal performed under strict regulations and minimizing associated transportation and cost risks.

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