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Drilling fluids and health risk management: A guide for drilling personnel, managers and health professionals in the oil and gas industry
Authors: OGP/IPIECA
Year: 2009
Periodical/Journal: OGP/IPIECA Health Committee by the Drilling Fluids Task Force
Abstract:

Drilling fluids are used extensively in the upstream oil and gas industry, and are critical to ensuring a safe and productive oil or gas well. During drilling, a large volume of drilling fluid is circulated in an open or semi- enclosed system, at elevated temperatures, with agitation, providing a significant potential for chemical exposure and subsequent health effects.When deciding on the type of drilling fluid system to use, operator well planners need to conduct comprehensive risk assessments of drilling fluid systems, considering health aspects in addition to environmental and safety aspects, and strike an appropriate balance between their potentially conflicting requirements. The results of these risk assessments need to be made available to all employers whose workers may become exposed to the drilling fluid system.

This document provides some general background on drilling fluids and the various categories of base fluids and additives currently in use. It outlines potential health hazards associated with these substances, looks at opportunities for human exposure presented by drilling operations, and introduces risk management methods and monitoring processes aimed at reducing the risk of harmful health effects.

This guidance is evidence-based and aims to define and discuss best practices for reducing exposures and subsequent health effects through a risk-based management process.

The document is designed to be of use to operator and drilling personnel, managers, Health, Safety and Environment managers, drilling fluid specialists, rig-site medical staff, and occupational health and hygiene professionals.

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