Quantitative Rankings Measure Oilfield Chemicals Environmental Impacts
Environmental stewardship has been and continues to be a critical component of the oil and gas industry, as exploitation of shale and other unconventional gas reservoirs requires large volumes of water for economic and efficient production. Evaluating and communicating the hazards of chemicals is done in a highly variable manner across the world. However the recent adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) by multiple Global regulatory bodies has brought international consensus to hazard criteria and definitions. This system is being implemented with REACH in the EU. In the US OSHA has just proposed the GHS criteria as the basis for modifying their hazard communication regulations. This standardization ensures information about hazards and toxicity of chemicals is more universally available, to enhance protection of human health and the environment during handling, transportation and use. It is this scheme that we are beginning to utilize as the basis for the ranking of products and systems.
This paper will describe the evaluation and implementation of a practical and quantitative process of ranking well servicing products based on their safety, health and environmental impacts. The ranking allows operators to select and use products that best fit their environmental stewardship goals, and provides scientifically sound tools for better research and development, and educational efforts.