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Oil and Gas: Reasons for Change
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Operations
P2 Alternatives
Reasons for Change
Pollution Prevention Overview
Acknowledgements
Where to Go for Help
Complete List of Links

Essential Links:

Pollution Prevention Best Management Practices for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Industry
This manual provides an in-depth look at oil and gas operations, its wastes, and pollution preventio...


Over time the oil and gas industry has developed practices that have reduced the generation of waste, improved the economics of drilling and production operations, and led to safer operations. The pollution prevention practices (or waste minimization) referenced throughout this hub have been shown to reflect process improvements that can work. The benefits of developing and implementing a pollution prevention-based environmental management system include the following:

  • Increased revenue;
  • Reduced potential for both civil and criminal liability;
  • Enhanced public perception of the company and the industry as a whole.
  • A more informed work force;
  • Better communication between labor and management;
  • Improved productivity;
  • Better environmental stewardship;
  • Reduced cost of waste treatment, waste management, disposal, operations, materials, energy and facility cleanup;
  • Reduced raw materials requirements;
  • Improved control of regulatory compliance costs and reduced regulatory burden;
  • Improved understanding of the true costs and causes of waste;
  • A framework to continuously improve operations and reduce waste.

In the past several years, significant changes in environmental regulations and industry perspectives have made an ?end-of-pipe? approach to waste management much less desirable.  More stringent state and federal waste management regulations have resulted in substantially increased treatment and disposal costs.  These new costs, coupled with a heightened awareness of environmental impacts and an expanded emphasis on environmental protection, have provided a greater incentive for operators to improve oil field processes and practices to reduce or eliminate wastes.

Numerous waste minimization opportunities exist for oil and gas operations.  Initiation of a waste minimization program does not have to be expensive or complicated.  With some advance planning and effort, there are many inexpensive, common sense practices that are feasible for even the smallest company. For your convenience, we have provided two good styles of waste minimization plans that can effectively reduce waste in your operations.

[Click here for an example of a pollution prevention-based environmental management plan.]

IS WASTE MINIMIZATION ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE?

WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL - AND THE INCENTIVE - FOR E&P OPERATORS TO REDUCE THE VOLUME AND TOXICITY OF WASTE THEY GENERATE?

This question is gaining more attention in Texas and the nation, especially as Congress considers reauthorizing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C and possibly subjecting all oil and gas wastes to hazardous waste regulation.  Even if Congress imposes no additional restrictions on oil and gas waste management options, waste management costs have already risen dramatically, not only in terms of disposal fees, but also in terms of regulatory compliance costs and potential future liability.  In many instances source reduction and recycling are cheaper in the long run than treatment or disposal of wastes, particularly when the time and cost of regulatory compliance is considered.  In addition, the cost of remediating just one site where improper waste disposal or a spill has occurred can be a significant incentive to reduce or eliminate waste.

Today, many companies are performing detailed internal assessments to identify products that are used, waste generating processes, and waste streams.  Wastes are classified and managed according to waste management plans, which are developed by considering environmental conditions in specific geographic areas.  A waste minimization program is an important element of any comprehensive waste management plan.

[Click here for an example of a waste management plan.]

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The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Oil and Gas Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Southwest Network for Zero Waste
Southwest Network for Zero Waste
Contact email: tvinson@mail.utexas.edu

Hub Last Updated: 4/19/2007



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The Zero Waste Network is one of eight Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange P2RxCenters , serving as a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest). We are a proud member of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

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