Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Oil and Gas News from OilGasDaily.Com  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















OIL AND GAS
Hazardous chemicals go unregulated in routine oil and gas operations
by Staff Writers
Oakland CA (SPX) Apr 20, 2017


File image.

California and more than two dozen other states require oil and gas producers to disclose the chemicals they use during hydraulic fracturing activities, enabling scientific and public scrutiny of the environmental and human health hazards these substances may pose. But all existing disclosure regulations cover chemical use only in hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and, in California, two other types of well-stimulation treatments.

Many of the same chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing go undisclosed when they are used in numerous routine, unregulated oil- and gas-field activities such as the drilling, cleaning and maintenance of wells, according to a study published in PLOS ONE April 19.

The study, conducted by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of the Pacific and the California-based energy science and policy institute PSE Healthy Energy, is the first published research to investigate chemicals used in unregulated routine oil- and gas-field activities, including the overlap between chemicals used in both regulated and unregulated activities.

Analyzing publicly available data of chemical use in oil and gas production operations in the Los Angeles Basin, researchers found that the number of the chemicals used for routine activities is as high or higher than the number used for hydraulic fracturing, and those chemicals are used frequently and in high quantities.

Further, the disclosure data showed that the same chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing were also used in more than half of recorded routine activities, which are unregulated. For example, they found common use of biocides, a class of hazardous chemicals that includes formaldehyde, and acidizing agents including hydrofluoric acid, in both regulated well-stimulation activities and unregulated routine activities. These findings have major implications for chemical disclosure policies and risk assessments of oil and gas development in California and across the nation, the researchers concluded.

"Policies that focus exclusively on hydraulic fracturing or well stimulation miss a huge swath of chemical usage that poses environmental and human health hazards," said Seth B.C. Shonkoff, executive director of PSE and corresponding author on the study.

"Especially as water produced by oil and gas development is increasingly used to replenish aquifers, irrigate agriculture, water livestock and increase stream flow around the country, we need to know, more than ever, what's in it. Policies that govern chemical use in oil and gas development should apply to all uses - none of these known hazardous substances should be getting a free pass," he said.

Same chemicals, different rules
Scientists analyzed data from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which encompasses the densely populated Southern California counties of San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles - the second most productive oil and gas region in the third largest oil producing state in the United States, according to the study authors.

The air district's unique chemical disclosure rules for the oil and gas sector provided researchers with the only existing source of chemical use in routine activities in the United States; unlike the rest of the state, oil and gas operators in the jurisdiction must publicly disclose chemical-usage information related to most oil and gas activities, not just in fracking and well stimulation.

The analysis found that of the 548 chemical additives reported to the Los Angeles Basin database, 525 of those - about 95 percent - were used in activities that do not require disclosure under statewide policy. The most frequently used chemicals included solvents, petroleum products and salts, which are blended for production uses; carboxylic acids, which are used to control scale and iron; corrosion inhibitors; and hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid, which were used extensively and in large quantities for well cleaning and routine maintenance. Biocides, a class of hazardous chemicals that kill bacteria, were used in 63 percent of routine events recorded, compared to 93 percent of hydraulic fracturing treatments.

In routine uses, the most commonly used biocides were formaldehyde, a preservative with numerous medical and industrial applications, which was used in 57 percent of events; and glutaraldehyde, a disinfectant with a variety of applications in medical settings, which was found in 23 percent of events.

"A comparison within the statewide database shows a significant overlap between both types and amounts of chemicals used for well-stimulation treatments included under California's mandatory-disclosure regulations and routine activities that are currently excluded from state regulations," said study lead author William Stringfellow, director and professor of the Ecological Engineering Research Program at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and an environmental staff engineer at Berkeley Lab.

Due to the extent of chemical usage and the overlap with chemicals that are regulated when used during hydraulic fracturing, researchers called for further study and more policies that expand beyond a focus strictly on hydraulic fracturing.

"Given concerns regarding the use and release of hazardous chemicals during oil and gas development around the country, the increasing reuse of produced water and its rising potential for human exposure, it is important to evaluate chemicals put down wells for any purpose, not just those used during the limited phase of hydraulic fracturing," Shonkoff said.

Increase in Chemical-Exposure Pathways
An increased interest in expanding the reuse of produced water - water generated as a byproduct of oil and gas production - for food-crop irrigation and aquifer recharging, along with oil and gas fields increasing being co-located in areas of high population density like the Los Angeles Basin, increases the potential for chemical exposures.

Hazards posed by these chemical additives are in addition to those posed by naturally occurring constituents of produced water, such as salts, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons and naturally occurring radioactive materials. The authors also note that they found many chemicals in use that were considered low-risk for human and environmental exposures.

The study was the outgrowth of research published in 2015 to bring California in compliance with the state's 2013 Senate Bill 4. In addition to requiring disclosure of chemical use in hydraulic fracturing and two other types of well stimulation treatments, the bill mandated an independent scientific study to identify and describe the hazards, risks and impacts of hydraulic fracturing and oil and gas development throughout the state.

Shonkoff, who is also a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and an affiliate of Berkeley Lab, was the lead author on the public health portion of that report, which was produced on behalf of the California Council on Science and Technology.

"When we evaluated the reported hydraulic-fracturing chemicals, we saw numerous other chemicals that were unaccounted for in the disclosures," Shonkoff said. "We saw that there's a lot we don't know about the chemicals used in non-hydraulic fracturing events in oil and gas fields - that information gap can put the public's health at risk."

Research paper

OIL AND GAS
US wants 'strong' Saudi Arabia: Mattis
Riyadh (AFP) April 19, 2017
The United States wants to see a strong Saudi Arabia, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said during talks Wednesday aimed at reinvigorating the Riyadh-Washington alliance. Mattis, meeting the most powerful figures in the Saudi capital, also hinted that President Donald Trump could visit the kingdom, a longtime US ally which has welcomed Washington's firmer line against common adversary Iran. ... read more

Related Links
PSE Healthy Energy
All About Oil and Gas News at OilGasDaily.com

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

OIL AND GAS
Degradable electronic components created from corn starch

Towards more efficient biofuels by making oil from algae

Algal residue - an alternative carbon resource for pharmaceuticals and polyesters

For Palestinian family, an udder-ly unique power source

OIL AND GAS
Center for Sustainable Energy Partners with EnergySage to Offer an Online Multifamily Solar Marketplace

Powerpedia Forms Nonprofit to Provide Free Solar Systems to Orphanages Throughout Baja Mexico and Beyond

Mechanism behind the electric charges generated by photosynthesis

Swedish leading solar energy technology provider Midsummer offers complete BIPV metal roof systems

OIL AND GAS
Oklahoma to end tax credits for wind energy

German power company examining new wind energy options.

Canada sees emerging role for wind energy

U.N. says low-carbon economy not a "pipe dream"

OIL AND GAS
AREVA NP Signs Contract for Outage Services at Farley Nuclear Generating Station

AREVA and KAZATOMPROM sign a strategic agreement

S.Africa to re-think nuclear deal after junk status : ANC

France enshrines decision to close oldest nuclear plant

OIL AND GAS
Models, observations not so far apart on planet's response to greenhouse gas emissions

Drought, conflict and famine in Africa

How ENSO and Atlantic ADO impact East Asian winter monsoon

Plants have been helping to offset climate change, but now it's up to us

OIL AND GAS
GM to ramp up self-driving effort in Silicon Valley

Uber says growth strong as it gives a peek at earnings

Tesla's Musk announces plans for semi-truck launch

Apple gets permit to test self-driving cars

OIL AND GAS
Mosul op has displaced nearly half a million: UN

Iraqi Christians mark first post-IS Easter in recaptured town

Iraq forces make Mosul gains, but anti-IS war far from over

Iraq's Sadr warns Assad could share Kadhafi's fate

OIL AND GAS
Volleyball games at N.Korean nuke test site: monitor

Japan could rescue nationals in Korean crisis: defence chief

US, China working 'closely' on North Korea: Mattis

US carrier strike group still far from N. Korea: official




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement