Determination of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in formation water during oil exploration

  • F. Moatar
  • S. R. Shadizadeh
  • A. R. Karbassi
  • E. Ardalani
  • R. Akbari Derakhshi
  • M. Asadi


The present study is conducted, in order to contribute to a future waste management policy related to the presence of technologically enhanced natural occurring radioactive material (TENORM) in Iran petroleum industry. Samples were collected from offshore oil company for analysis of 238U, 235U, and 232Th series in produced waters. The activities of samples were determined by high-purity germanium detector, well for lowlevel activity γ-spectrometry. The results have shown that, 226Ra concentration ranges from 5.26 Bq/L to 27.93 Bq/L. Also the total activity in produced water is in the range of 16–840 Bq/L were mainly due to enhanced levels of dissolved 226Ra, 214Pb, 214Bi ions. Also, enhanced dissolution of elements such as radium by increasing of salinity, result in higher concentration of NORM in old oil region. Measured values are above EPA regulation (40 CFR 141055) & aqueous Derived Release Limit (DRL) of Canadian guideline for the management of (NORM). Therefore produced water has to dispose in pits which have to design for decrease the environmental effects. Also according to this study, re-injection of produced water in to abandon well of Iran Offshore Oil Company in Persian Gulf, have preference over discharging to the pits.


TENORM Produced water Oil field γ-Ray spectrometry 



The corresponding author also wish to thank Mr. Ardeshiri the director of HSE Department of Petroleum Ministry of IRAN and Mr. Parviz Ardalani for the intellectual support, and also Mrs. Shooyookhi in Gamma Spectrometry Laboratory of Waste Management Department in AEOI.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Moatar
    • 1
  • S. R. Shadizadeh
    • 2
  • A. R. Karbassi
    • 3
  • E. Ardalani
    • 1
  • R. Akbari Derakhshi
    • 4
  • M. Asadi
    • 5
  1. 1.Graduate Faculty of the Environmental and EnergyScience and Research Campus IAUTehranIran
  2. 2.Petroleum University of TechnologyAbadanIran
  3. 3.Graduate Faculty of EnvironmentUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  4. 4.Iranian Offshore Oil CompanyTehranIran
  5. 5.Waste Management Department of AEOITehranIran

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