There is currently no evidence of harm to the marine environment from produced water, but a number of areas of uncertainty remain. Using a novel methodology to compare a number of different techniques of reducing produced water discharges, it is found that these techniques have significant environmental and financial implications. In the absence of evidence of actual environmental harm being caused by produced water, the current policy objective of achieving zero discharge of hazardous substances in produced water implies a relatively high social valuation of the reduction in environmental risk that this achieves.

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