The Potential For Using Treated Petroleum Drill Cuttings In Mine Backfill
Free (open access)
267 - 277
M. S. Awopetu , S. O. Awopetu & J. Stegemann
The oil and gas industry generates huge quantities of petroleum drill cuttings (PDC) while exploring for hydrocarbon resources. These wastes are usually contaminated; for this reason, environmental legislation prohibits their disposal without treatment. The mining industry similarly exploits the earth for valuable minerals and creates cavities in the process. These cavities are currently supported and filled with cement paste backfill, (CPB) made from mine tailings during and after mining activities. The increasing cost of mining operations arising from the cost of CPB and the need to effectively dispose of treated PDC suggests a possible industrial synergy could be achieved between the two industries; utilising the waste of one (PDC from oil exploration) in the production chain of the other (CPB for mine backfill). This work investigated the potential for use of PDC treated by thermal desorption as a mine backfill material. Extensive literature analysis was done on the various methods available for treatment of PDC. Various potential and current utilisations of PDC and their environmental impacts were also discussed. The research outcome showed the possibility of use of thermally treated PDC waste as mine backfill material for general fill (Post operations) rather than ground support or free-standing fill applications. Keywords: petroleum drill cuttings, potential, cement paste backfill, exploration, hydrocarbon resources, environmental.
petroleum drill cuttings, potential, cement paste backfill, exploration, hydrocarbon resources, environmental.