Produced Water pp 353-373 | Cite as

Application of Microbiological Methods to Assess the Potential Impact of Produced Water Discharges

  • Kenneth Lee
  • Susan E. Cobanli
  • Brian J. Robinson
  • Gary Wohlgeschaffen


Microbial production and activity in produced water directly recovered from the discharge stream of offshore oil and gas production facilities off the east coast of Canada were examined before and after aeration in a series of concentrations to determine the effect of dilution at sea. Aeration and dilution resulted in reduced toxicity due to volatilization and oxidation of the lighter hydrocarbons including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and short-chain alkanes (C10–C14). A fraction of the detrimental effects on microbial productivity and activity could also be attributed to the elevated salinity associated with produced water. These results suggest that caution should be used in the manipulation of produced water samples used for toxicity/risk assessment studies.


Produce Water Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Dilution Experiment Amber Glass Bottle Scotian Shelf 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding for this research was provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD), and the Environmental Studies Research Funds (ESRF) managed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). We would like to thank Carol Anstey (DFO) for the nutrient analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Lee
    • 1
  • Susan E. Cobanli
    • 1
  • Brian J. Robinson
    • 1
  • Gary Wohlgeschaffen
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research (COOGER), Fisheries and Oceans CanadaBedford Institute of OceanographyDartmouthCanada

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