Handling NORM from offshore oil and gas installations

Ph.d and Chief Consultant Jens R. Valeur from Ramboll Oil & Gas specialises in HSE (Health, safety, Environment) in relation to oil and gas exploration and production. Mr. Valeur has examined the environmental impacts of various NORM disposal methods.


Jens Rosendal Valeur

Jens Rosendal Valeur

BSc, mechanical eng., Chief Consultant
T: +45 5161 8523

The effects of NORM in produced water

NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) occurs in process equipment in oil and gas installations, in particular in the produced water treatment system. The radioactivity originates from naturally occurring radium and other elements in the produced water that get concentrated when precipitating as scale and sludge. Special health and safety precautions are required to protect the workforce when maintaining equipment.

The environmental impact of NORM

Mr. Valeur has reviewed different options for disposing the NORM waste that is created on oil and gas installations, and he has paid special attention to the fate and effects of the radioactive elements from the produced water that is  discharged to sea. When assessing the environmental impacts, Mr. Valeur is stressing the importance of the strong tendency of the radioactive elements to stick to particles in the water.
Mr. Valeur concludes that the majority of radioactive elements from oil and gas production that are discharged in marine areas, will end up buried in the seabed in net depositional areas for fine-grained sediments, where they eventually will be isolated from the biosphere.

Best Paper Presentation Award at HSE conference

On 5 October 2010 Mr. Valeur presented a paper on NORM at the fifth SPE Middle East Health, Safety, Security and Environment Conference and Exhibition (MEHSSE) in Manama, Bahrain. For this presentation Mr. Valeur was awarded the 'Best Paper Presentation Award.’
MEHSSE is a series of conferences and exhibitions on HSE-matters held by Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) every second year. MEHSSE is becoming a landmark event in the Middle East region as it combines a world-class technical conference with an international exhibition.


First Floor, Emerald Building
Oud Metha Road
PO Box 116921, Dubai, UAE
Tel:+971 4 334 3616
Fax:+971 4 334 3617

Mail: info@ramboll.ae

Other sites

Other sites