Environmental Aspects of Drilling Muds and Cuttings from Oil and Gas Extraction Operations in Offshore and Coastal Waters



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Sheen Technical Subcommittee Offshore Operators Committee


Drilling mud and drilled rock chips (cuttings) are often discharged into offshore and coastal waters during drilling for oil and gas. There has been recent public concern that this might cause chronic or short-term acute damage to organisms. This report responds to that concern by summarizing and extrapolating the published information on the subject. Included are actual well histories and laboratory results used in estimating the concentrations of mud components, reviews of reports of underwater observations during actual discharges of mud and cuttings, and laboratory bioassay results for materials used in drilling muds to find whether these or the cuttings would cause environmental damage.


50 pages Preprint is 10 pages.


offshore oil and gas development, environmental effects of offshore drilling, environmental impact, drill mud