A recent report released by MarketsandMarkets forecasts what level of growth the drilling waste management industry will be seeing in the coming years. According to the report, “Drilling Waste Management Market by Services,” the industry is set to grow from $5.3 billion in 2014 to $8.5 billion by 2019 with an approximate compound annual growth rate of 11%. This growth is directly correlated to the explosive growth the oil and gas production industry has seen in the United States in recent years. As a result, this growth in production has obviously caused a growth in the waste that is produced. Alternatively, major oil producing foreign countries are also expanding their waste-management departments in order to increase the understanding of the environmental hazards that go along with oil and gas drilling.
Oilfield waste management has been an ongoing issue in the Bakken region in North Dakota. Currently, there are no waste management services for radioactive oil waste in the state. Several incidents involving the illegal dumping of this waste, most notably in an abandoned gas station in Noonan, has caused the state to take notice of this issue. Last week North Dakota announced that it might allow regular landfills to accept this form of oilfield waste which has been alarming to environmentalists.
The Marcellus region has also had its fair share of waste disposal drama this year. The area cannot seem to find an appropriate place to put its TENORM either. In May, a shipment of sludge was rejected by the Arden Landfill for exceeding the state’s safety level for radioactivity, forcing Range Resources to send it to West Virginia’s Meadow Landfill for disposal. As a result, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection banned the state from taking any further shipments, pending an investigation.