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Introduction to Environmental and Regulatory Considerations

The first set of modules for this course focused on water and air and their intersection with the oil and gas industry. This module changes focus to other environmental factors including best management practices for construction of production sites and pipelines, the impact and regulation of oil spills, soil impacts, and the potential risks of naturally occurring radioactive material.

Why It Matters

Through their lifecycle, oil and gas operations intersect the entire ecosystem including water, soil, air and the human environment. Leveraging best management practices at every phase helps keep operations profitable and sustainable while mitigating damage to the natural environment that may negatively impact operations in the future.

Learning Objectives

  • Name key steps in identifying ideal site selection
  • Describe best practices in labeling tanks on site
  • Isolate the path of water, crude oil and natural gas through different processing and storage equipment at the surface
  • Discuss how human operations can affect the landscape and describe remediation techniques, including surface reclamation
  • Discuss best management practices for unique cases of pipeline right-of-way construction
  • Identify spill prevention controls and countermeasures and describe the most common methods
  • Match general variations in the disposal and monitoring process for solids like well cuttings
  • Describe how soil samples should be obtained and tested
  • Describe natural and man-made sources of methane and CO2 in the environment
  • Identify the sources, possible causes and potential hazards of fugitive emissions
  • Identify emissions detection tools
  • Identify regional, national and global trends in outdoor air quality especially for CO, CO2, NOX, and SOX
  • Describe the role of gas flaring in oil and gas operations
  • Describe standard procedures for taking an air sample
  • Identify sources and types of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM), including testing and prevention methods

Images: “Oil transportation on railroad” by Arvydas Kniuksta via Shutterstock