Normally occuring radioactive material (norm)
EROSC has partnered with some of the best chemical providers to provide products and expertise in both the treatment and prevention of NORM.
The scale material originates from the reservoir underground formations and the bed rocks, and is carried out by the oil to the surface. In some conditions, where water is present, radioactive radium can be washed out off the underground rocks and brought to the surface with oil and production fluids. The process of scale formation is enhanced in mature oil wells, where water is injected into a well to create lifting pressure that helps to bring oil to the surface (referred to as 'artificial lift').
Depending on the formation and age of the well, removal, storage and disposal of the scale can result in serious health and environmental risks if not handled properly, both for workers and the public. It is to be noted that thousands of tons of radioactive scale are released each year by the industry, making it also a costly problem, including the cleaning or replacement of entire sections of affected pipelines, wellheads, etc.
Below are just two examples of case studies. Please consult your Environmental Recovery representative for product application recommendations and guidelines.
case history: chemical decontamination of norm in natural gas processing equipment
The product used was an exclusive water soluble product developed with selective extractants designed to completely remove NORM (normally occurring radioactive material) contamination from vessels, tanks, or process pipework. It is applied as an additive at the end of decontamination procedures and addresses highly radiotoxic isotopes that deposit.
In this case, the gas filters remove entrained water and solids present in incoming feedstock natural gas. The filters are regularly contaminated with high levels of radioactive scales. These filters are typically replaced and disposed of at a high cost due to the NORM content.
The filters were chemically treated at ambient temperature and each filter was circulated with the treating liquid for 4-hours. After the chemical circulation was completed, the filter casing was rinsed with water.
The initial radiation readings were reported at over 2000 mrem/hr. On completion of the work, the radiation readings were reduced to less than 10 mrem/hr., within the plant’s acceptable allowance.
The decontamination process allows the plant to save the replacement cost of the specialized, high cost filters and to eliminate the cost of disposing NORM contaminated equipment. The total decontamination time, per filter bank was 6-hours to completion resulting in a significant cost and time savings to the client.
4 hours at ambient temperature with NORM abatement product from EROSC preferred chemical partner.
A flow meter with 400 CPM of NORM radiation embedded in the metal was safely decontaminated to background levels of radiation after NORM abatement product from EROSC preferred chemical partner was applied.
Flow Meter Before (Left: 215 & 400 CPM) and After (Right: 80 & 100 CPM equal to background radiation)