Measuring the biological impact of drilling waste on the deep seafloor: an experimental challenge

Type Article
Date 2020-05
Language English
Author(s) Lelchat F.1, 2, Dussauze M.3, Lemaire P4, Theron M.3, Toffin LaurentORCID5, Le Floch Stephane1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Cedre, 715 rue Alain Colas - CS 41836, 29218 Brest CEDEX 2, France
2 : Leo viridis, 140 Avenue Graham Bell, 29280 Plouzané, France
3 : EA 4324 ORPHY, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Université de Brest, 6 avenue LE GORGEU, CS 93837, 29238 Brest cedex 3, France
4 : TOTAL FLUIDES SAS, 24 cours Michelet – 92800 Puteaux, 342 241 908 RCS Nanterre, France
5 : Laboratoire de Microbiologie des Environnements Extrêmes, UMR6197, Ifremer Centre de Bretagne, ZI de la pointe du diable, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France
Source Journal Of Hazardous Materials (0304-3894) (Elsevier BV), 2020-05 , Vol. 389 , P. 122132 (13p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.122132
WOS© Times Cited 9
Keyword(s) Drill cutting, Drilling waste, Ecotoxicology, Bioassay, Hydrostatic pressure, Deep-sea, Environmental assessment

The depletion of traditional oil fields is driving the oil & gas industry to explore new exploitation sites previously considered as unprofitable. Deep-sea oil fields represent one of these new areas of exploitation. Well drilling during exploration and production operations generate large quantities of drilling waste whose biological impact on the deep-sea floor remains largely unknown. Because of the harsh abiotic factors characterizing this environment, the evaluation of this impact remains challenging. High hydrostatic pressure is the prominent factor which will affect in-situ biological processes. This review will examine the feedback on the various strategies used to evaluate the biological impact of deep-sea drilling waste deposition as well as the current technological limitations. Given the complexity of this issue, a good perspective strategy would be to trend towards the research and development of more relevant bioassays, especially considering the crucial factor of hydrostatic pressure.

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