CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA), a marine environmental consulting and survey company, today announced details of a milestone water quality monitoring project for an oil and gas major in the Mediterranean Sea. The campaign marks the first time that passive sampling devices (PSDs) have been successfully used in Israeli waters to conduct water quality studies for the oil and gas industry.
The PSDs, deployed in late 2020 and retrieved in early 2021 after a 43-day soak period, recorded the accumulation of 76 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and seven metals: chromium, cadmium, mercury, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc. Sample analysis results cited in the study’s official report—approved and published by the by Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection in August 2021—indicated that there was no statistical difference between the concentrations of parameters detected by the PSDs near the platform and those placed at reference checkpoints. Therefore, the study concluded that the produced water discharge from the platform, an installation that began commercial gas production on 31 December 2019, was not introducing PAHs or metals in concentrations that exceeded environmental thresholds and, as a result, did not cause bioaccumulation driven impacts to fish or other marine organisms.
Historically, bioaccumulation studies for PAHs in waters surrounding oil and gas platforms in the region have relied on either the in situ deployment of live biota in cages or the removal of animals from their natural habitat to carry out laboratory experiments. However, PSDs are designed to mimic the passive uptake of organic compounds across biological membranes, such as fish gills; thus, they offer a non-intrusive way of accurately estimating the bioaccumulation of contaminants of concern without disruption to the local marine life.
“We were delighted with how smoothly this landmark passive sampling operation was completed and are excited to provide oil and gas operators in the region with tech-inspired survey solutions to help them manage potential environmental impacts associated with offshore activities,” said Mr. John Tiggelaar, CSA’s project manager. “This novel use of PSDs provides our client the reassurances they need about the environmentally safe discharge of produced water following the platform’s first full year in service, a baseline from which they can confidently manage and assess any future mitigation strategies,” Mr. Tiggelaar added.
CSA group CEO Kevin Peterson added: “CSA has a 52-year history of investing in the latest marine technology engineered to advance ocean science and this campaign amply demonstrates how our group of companies is partnering with the offshore industries to introduce increasingly efficient, safe, and environmentally sound sampling solutions to the multidisciplinary marine survey practices associated with responsible ocean exploration.”
CSA field scientists collaborated with operatives and subject matter experts from Marine Ventures International (MVI) on this project.
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