Please note change of venue to auditorium at 1500 Louisiana, 77002, Houston
Parker Abstract: Shallow water areas of the Gulf of Mexico continental shelf experience low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) each summer. The hypoxic zone is primarily caused by input of nutrients from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. The nutrients stimulate the growth of phytoplankton, which leads to reduction of the oxygen concentration near the sea floor. During the renewal of an offshore discharge permit used by the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified the need to assess the potential contribution from produced water discharges to the occurrence of hypoxia. The EPA permit required either that all platforms in the hypoxic zone submit produced water samples, or that industry perform a coordinated sampling program. This paper, based on a report submitted to EPA in August 2005 (1), describes the results of the joint industry sampling program and the use of those results to quantify the relative significance of produced water discharges in the context of other sources on the occurrence of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.
Seaton Abstract: The increasing environmental legislation surrounding drilling operations has led to a rapid rise in drilling waste management spending by operators. The traditional perception has been that this increased spending adds to well construction costs. While it true that new technology comes with a price tag, and much of the technology used in drilling waste management has been introduced in the last 10 years, many technologies now available to operators are clearly cost effective when the entire well construction cost is evaluated. The cost of making a mistake and having either an expensive remediation project or a potential liability nearly always significantly outweighs the cost of a good preventative drilling waste management program. Further, compliance with current environmental regulations does not always guarantee immunity in the future.