Energy and Environment

Radioactivity in produced water from Norwegian oil and gas installations -concentrations, bioavailability and doses to marine biota

Sidhu, R. , Eriksen, D.Ø. , Strålberg, E. , Iden, K.I. , Rye, H. , Hylland, K. , Ruus, A. , Røyset, O. , Berntssen, M.H.G.
International Oil Field Chemistry Symposium , 17, Geilo, 2006-03-19--03-22.
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Substantial amounts of produced water, containing elevated levels of radionuclides (mainly 226Ra and 228Ra) are discharged to the sea as a result of oil and gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. So far no study has assessed the potential radiological effects on marine biota in connection with radionuclide discharges to the North Sea. The main objective of the project is to establish radiological safe discharge limits for radium, lead and polonium associated with other components in produced water from oil and gas installations on the Norwegian continental shelf. Preliminary results indicate that presence of added chemicals such as scale inhibitors in the produced water has a marked influence on the formation of radium and barium sulphates when produced water is mixed with sea water. Thus, the mobility and bio-availability of radium (and barium) may be larger than anticipated. Also, the bio-availability of radium may be increased due to presence of such chemicals, and this is presently being studied.