Drilling off the Alentejo coast

Dear Editor,

As ENI/GALP are going to be drilling off the Alentejo coast, can they inform us as to what their disposal method will be of the drilling waste?

As an oilman myself, I can confirm that there are various methods: either by transporting all the waste to a shore base (ship to shore/skip and ship) or drying the drilled cuttings before disposal at sea, which is banned in a lot of countries I have worked in or in areas of favourable geology, to re-inject the drilled cuttings by firstly slurification then to pump the waste back into the formation it came from.

All these methods are required if the drilling fluid is of an oil-based product. In my experience, the Atlantic coast will be zero discharge meaning nothing will be discharged overboard which is the case in the North Sea.

This should be of particular interest to members of the ASMAA before they go group hugging by their barbecues.

Ian Sheppard
Offshore service engineer (oil and gas)