Bulletin 2015-17

Bulletin 2015-17: New Edition of Directive 050: Drilling Waste Management Released

VIEW PDF (53.54 KB)

New Edition of Directive 050: Drilling Waste Management Released

May 21, 2015

Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) Directive 050: Drilling Waste Management sets out the requirements for the treatment and disposal of drilling waste generated in Alberta. A new edition has been released, which replaces the 2012 edition and is effective immediately. 

The 2015 edition

  • clarifies requirements,
  • minimizes inconsistencies with common practices for drilling waste management, and
  • improves regulatory efficiency while maintaining environmental protection. 

The revisions were made based on the AER’s experience with monitoring industry operations and as part of the AER’s ongoing efforts to improve regulation. 

Summary of Revisions 

  • Section 7: Management of Cement Returns
    • Under section 7.1, clarified that the pump-off method may be used for disposing of accumulated water within a cement return storage system without prior approval under section 19.
    • Revised requirement 1 by
      • adding to (c) that cement returns stored in a segregated pit must be buried or removed within 18 months, and
      • amending (d) to allow the reuse of earthen pits for the storage of cement returns; this will reduce the need for additional storage area.
  • Section 8: Drilling Wastes from Pipelines
    • Added under requirement 1 that drilling mud systems composed solely of water and bentonite do not require toxicity evaluations. Also indicated that field screening for pH, electrical conductivity, sodium adsorption ratio (magnesium, sodium, calcium), and nitrogen (NH3-N, NO3-N, NO2-N) is permitted.
  • In various sections of the directive, incorporated content from the frequently asked questions documents published in May and September 2012. Also updated the directive to reflect changes introduced by the Responsible Energy Development Act

Directive 050 is available on the AER website, www.aer.ca. Printed copies of the directive can be purchased from AER Order Fulfillment, Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4; telephone: 403-297-8311 or 1-855-297-8311 (toll free; option 2); fax: 403-297-7040; e-mail: InformationRequest@aer.ca

<original signed by> 

Kirk Bailey
Executive Vice President
Operations Division