Andy is consulting environmental scientist and team leader of the Water Science and Technology Team within the Environmental Unit of Chevron Energy Technology Company. His team advises Chevron operations worldwide on the environmental impact of discharges, wastewater treatment and overall water management. Individually, Andy has participated and led efforts on environmental and regulatory issues associated with the discharge of drilling and production effluents in Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America and the Caspian region.


Andy has chaired the API Production Effluent Toxicity and Synthetic Drilling Mud Toxicity Work Groups, and served on the Science Review Board of the MMS Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Environmental Monitoring Program. He currently co-chairs the OGP Offshore Environmental Monitoring Task Force and is active in programs assessing offshore environmental impacts in Angola and Nigeria.


Andy received his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Antioch College in Ohio, and his master’s and Ph.D. in toxicology from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Prior to joining Chevron 25 years ago, he was a research toxicologist at the University of California-Berkeley. Andy is a diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology and the author of over 30 papers on topics related to the toxicity and impacts of chemicals, petroleum products and effluents in the aquatic environment.

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Description of presentation:

New environmental regulations and higher expectations from partners and external stakeholders are driving the industry to better manage the offshore discharge of drilling muds and cuttings. In some cases, these pressures have forced operations to stop the discharge. In other cases, the industry has had tremendous success demonstrating to regulators that properly managed discharges result in little impact to the marine environment. These stewardship efforts, particularly when performed in collaboration with local stakeholders, have led to regulations that continue to allow the discharge of drill cuttings.

How can our industry ensure that our discharges do not cause significant adverse effects, and how can we communicate this to regulators and other stakeholders?
First, operators must apply an environmental assessment process that addresses concerns regarding the potential impact of a drilling discharge. For projects in ecologically sensitive areas, those closer to shore, or large multi-well developments, proactive field data collection and sophisticated analyses may be necessary to better understand potential effects.

Second, drilling operations that choose to discharge should only use drilling fluids that demonstrate low aquatic toxicity and high biodegradability.

Third, operations should have a comprehensive waste management plan in place that uses the latest cuttings cleaning technologies, and continually monitor their effectiveness. By addressing these three elements, operators can demonstrate they are making sound and defensible decisions regarding the discharge of drilling muds and cuttings, and ensure that discharge is an option for drilling projects in the future.