Governments, operators eyeing effects of synthetic-based drilling fluids

By yearend, rig operators in the UK Continental Shelf will have reduced to zero the discharge of their synthetic-based drilling fluid contaminated cuttings.To comply with government requirements, operators have had to reduce discharges by at least 20% each year until the 2001 deadline. Most of the rest of Europe has already adopted a zero or limited-discharge approach.In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a more pragmatic approach by including the potential polluting effects of not only the discharge of cuttings into the sea but also any fuel use or air emissions from barging, reinjection, or cuttings disposal on land.The US is currently evaluating the various opt...

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