With proper attention to safety regulations and practices, it’s not difficult to keep your oilfield in safe working order for yourself and your coworkers. But what about keeping things safe for the surrounding environment? Oil is a rather dangerous substance, after all. Even a slight leak or mistake could lead to disaster for plants, animals, and people affected by the accident.
Keep Your Oilfield Green
Handling a potentially dangerous substance like oil or gas may seem like a daunting task, especially with the surrounding environment depending heavily on your attempts to keep things clean. However, there are always a few steps you can take to keep your impact as low as possible. Here are just a few examples:
- Find and contain methane leaks
- Know and observe local regulations
- Monitor waste disposal
1) Find and Contain Methane Leaks
As a colorless and odorless gas, methane is not easy to detect. Even adding an odorant as many providers do isn’t enough, since by the time you can smell the leak, there’s already a dangerous amount in the air. Fortunately, there are a few ways to detect methane leaks. Satellite tracking programs have shown promise. Other scientists are developing a method that observes natural weather patterns and their effects on methane leaks. Whichever method you prefer, make sure you aren’t contributing to the already-hazardous amounts of this gas in your local atmosphere.
2) Know and Observe Local Regulations
Oilfields are subject to a plethora of regulations already. How many of these laws do you understand and adhere to on a daily basis? Rather than pushing for new laws or safety standards, begin by studying and observing the regulations already in place. Even this first step will help reduce your oilfield’s environmental impact.
3) Monitor Waste Disposal
How does your oilfield dispose of waste products? Dirty water is especially important to consider since it has the potential to mingle with groundwater and make nearby animals or people sick. Keep an eye on how you get rid of waste. If there’s a chance it could be contributing to nearby environmental problems or people getting sick, it’s time to find another disposal method.
Pro Tip: Some types of waste your oilfield produces are far less dangerous than others. Learn to tell the difference and dispose of both types according to their needs.
Protect the Local Environment
Ultimately, the biggest factors in reducing an oilfield’s environmental impact are knowledge and effort. If you know the potential risk factors and how to minimize them, the next step is working to keep those risks under control and protect your worksite and the surrounding environment. With a little effort, you can run an eco-friendly drilling operation.
Join the conversation to learn more about reducing the environmental impact of the oil and gas industry.