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Assessment of heavy metals concentration in mud cuttings of reserve pit 7 in Twiga 1 well pad South Lokichar Basin relative to acceptable levels in drinking water

Research Paper | July 1, 2019

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David Mugendi, Caleb Mireri, Jacob Kibwage

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.15( 1), 86-93, July 2019


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Mud cuttings forms the largest volume of the waste generated during petroleum oil and gas drilling. Most often they are stored in reserve pits before final disposal which mostly is being spread in agricultural farms after incineration or being buried with shallow soil in reserve pits. Barite (Barium Sulphate) often added as a weighting agent to drilling muds to counteract pressure in the geological formations being drilled inhibiting well blow out contain elevated levels of heavy metals. These heavy metals contaminate the mud cuttings during the drilling process and if poorly managed these cuttings can leach out and contaminate underground water ecosystems. X-ray Florence machine was used to determine the heavy metals concentrations in the mud cuttings. The heavy metals concentration detected in the reserve pit was in the order of Iron> Calcium> potassium> lead> Manganese> Copper andd Nickel with their average values being 70.74ppm, 62.57ppm, 8.14ppm, 4.58ppm, 1.58ppm, o.21ppm and 0.05ppm respectively. The results indicated that heavy metals such as Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), and Lead (Pb) concentration levels in the mud cuttings were all above World Health Organization (WHO), and United State Environmental Agency (USEPA), recommended levels for consumption water posing a potential danger to human and animal health in case of exposure.


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Assessment of heavy metals concentration in mud cuttings of reserve pit 7 in Twiga 1 well pad South Lokichar Basin relative to acceptable levels in drinking water

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