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Evaluation of Produced Water from Brazilian Offshore Platforms

  • Irene T. Gabardo
  • Eduardo B. Platte
  • Antônio S. Araujo
  • Fernando H. Pulgatti
Chapter

Abstract

Chemistry and toxicity of produced water (PW) from offshore platforms operated by Petrobras in Brazil were investigated. Three studies – PW monitoring, detailed composition and temporal variability – were conducted during 1996, 2001 and 2006 in the Campos, Santos and Ceara Basins. For approximately 50 samples the median concentrations were ammonia 70 mg L–1, barium 1.3 mg L–1, iron 7.4 mg L–1, BTEX 4.7 mg L–1, PAH 0.53 mg L–1, TPH 28 mg L–1, phenols 1.3 mg L–1, 226Ra 0.15 Bq L–1 and 228Ra 0.09 Bq L–1. Acute toxicity median values were LC5096 h = 3.57% for Mysidopsis juniae, LC5048 h = 52.55% for Artemia sp., EC5072 h = 8.43% for Skeletonema costatum and EC5015 min = 16.05% for Vibrio fischeri. Median chronic toxicity using Lytechinus variegatus showed a NOEC = 1.3%. These results for Brazilian PW are similar to those for the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Australia and other regions of the world. Dispersion plumes modelled using CORMIX and CHEMMAP predicted that PW can be diluted rapidly after discharge and that permissible levels for all chemical parameters in seawater cited in the Brazilian Resolution CONAMA 357/05 are attained within 500 m of the discharge point. Over 10 years (1998–2010) of monitoring in the vicinity of the Brazilian platforms did not show alterations in sea water quality, supporting the predictions of the dispersion plume modelling. Despite no observed alteration in seawater quality around oil and gas production platforms, the authors recognize the importance of continuous evaluation of the impact of PW discharges from a risk assessment perspective, and studies of bioaccumulation and the use of biomarkers, among other initiatives currently implemented by Petrobras in areas with large volumes of PW discharge. Up to and including 2011, Petrobras remains the major producer of oil and gas in Brazil and the total discharge of produced water by the country is essentially the volume that is discharged by offshore Petrobras operations. In 2005, the average total volume of PW discharged offshore on the Brazilian coast was 73 million m3/year, representing less than 3% PW discharged onto other oceans worldwide.

Keywords

Brazil Produced water Toxicity Composition PAH BTEX TPH Phenols Trace metals Radionuclides Dispersion modelling Environmental monitoring Offshore platforms Oil and gas production 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the entire project team without whom this challenge could not have been accomplished. We are grateful to Eduardo Yassuda from ASA (Applied Science Associates), South America, colleagues Angelo Sartori Neto, Renato Parkinson Martins and Jose Antonio Moreira Lima for the modelling studies, and to Ivanil Ribeiro Cruz and Carlos German Massoni for helping with the figures and artwork for the manuscript. We wish to acknowledge Fabiana Dias Costa Gallotta, Priscila Reis da Silva, Maria de Fatima G. Meniconi, Dr. John Veil, José Marcos Godoy and Janaina Medeiros for their constructive comments on the manuscript. Finally, we specially acknowledge the Petrobras E&P Department for their assistance and cooperation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene T. Gabardo
    • 1
  • Eduardo B. Platte
    • 1
  • Antônio S. Araujo
    • 2
  • Fernando H. Pulgatti
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Monitoring and AssessmentPetrobras Research Center/CENPESRio JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUFRN – Federal University of Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Statistics, Institute of MathematicsUFRGS – Federal University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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