A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

How oil & gas offshore facilities pollute offshore waters along the gulf coast

26 January 2013 – Offshore oil & gas facilities which produce crude oil and natural gas also produce salt water along with the oil and gas, this is a natural bi produce of the total fluids which come from the reseviors.

The oil , gas and water are separated from one another thru a series of procees vessels designed to break the fluids apart. The oil and gas are then processed and sold to pipeline companies which transport them to the beach and to refineries. The produced salt water is then processed and discharged into the Gulf of Mexico.

This produced water which is discharged from the offshore oil and gas facilities must meet strict federal guidelines of no more than 42 parts per million with a monthly average of no more than 28 parts per million averaged over the days of the month.

Most produced water must be treated with chemicals to meet these federal standards , and treating cost money which decreases profits for the oil and gas companies. Most recently a major offshore oil company was convicted of a felony for violating these standards.

The conviction came from oil company employees and contractors taking the produced water sample and filtering it with every day coffee filters to remove the excess oil from the water sample and then turning in that false water sample into the government approved testing agency showing the water sample to be in compliance.

Another instance proved oil company employees and contactors simply turned in regular every day salt water from the gulf which they gathered from lowering a buck to the ocean surface and scooping up every day sea water. Then placing the sea water into the sample bottle and submitting it to the government agency for testing, which revealed the water sample was in compliance.

This takes place on quite a few of the 3,500 offshore oil and gas facilities discharging produced water from oil and gas formations. Then falsely logging reports of being in compliance with federal regulations, all the while putting huge amounts of pollutants into the Gulf of Mexico, contaminating fish, crabs, fish, oysters and eventually getting into those persons who consume these in their diet.

Government agencies allow offshsore oil and gas companies to ” self test ” and gather the produced overboard water samples for testing themselves, thus allowing these oil company and contract company employees to falsify the test results or turn in false samples for testing, all the while putting much larger quantities of polluted water into the Gulf of Mexico than the scientist or the goverment agencies realize, and contaminating the food chain and endangering those who consume it.
*Randy Comeaux, Examiner

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