OIL AND GAS ENVIRONMENTAL ECOLOGY
This book covers the fundamental problems of the interaction of hydrocarbons with the biosphere. It is based on long-term original studies by the authors and on information from modern scientific sources. Common features of carbonaceous substances — oil, natural gas, nature hard bitumen, and petroleum products — their chemical composition and toxicity are analyzed, and the main manifestations of the petroleum-driven anthropization of the environment are considered. The issues of stability of the natural systems in case of pollution by oil and petroleum products; the means for natural cleaning and remediation; and the methods for diagnostics, monitoring, and forecasting environmental changes caused by petroleum pollution are also discussed. This book targets a wide range of readers and, particularly, students interested in the ecological role of oil and gas in the environment. Данная книга посвящена фундаментальным проблемам взаимодействия углеводородов с биосферой. Она основана на многолетних оригинальных исследованиях авторов и на информации из современных научных источников. Проанализированы общие черты углеродсодержащих веществ — нефти, природного газа, природного твердого битума и нефтепродуктов — их химический состав и токсичность, а также рассмотрены основные проявления антропизации окружающей среды, обусловленной нефтью. Обсуждаются вопросы устойчивости природных систем при загрязнении нефтью и нефтепродуктами; средства естественной очистки и рекультивации; методы диагностики, мониторинга и прогнозирования изменений окружающей среды, вызванных нефтяным загрязнением. Эта книга предназначена для широкого круга читателей и, в частности, студентов, интересующихся экологической ролью нефти и газа в окружающей среде.
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- 33: Горное дело
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- 574: Общая экология. Биоценология. Гидробиология. Биогеография
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- 45.04.02: Лингвистика
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OIL AND GAS ENVIRONMENTAL ECOLOGY YURY I. PIKOVSKIY NARIMAN M. ISMAILOV MARINA F. DOROKHOVA Translated (from Russian) “Prima Vista” firm, Russia Editor of the English translation: Dmitry E. Konyushkov ACADEMUS Publishing Academus Publishing 2019
ACADEMUS Publishing Academus Publishing, Inc. 1999 S, Bascom Avenue, Suite 700 Campbell CA 95008 Website: www.academuspublishing.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © Publisher, Academus Publishing, Inc., 2019 The right of Yury I. Pikovskiy, ScD in Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Geography, Moscow, Russia; Nariman M. Ismailov, ScD in Biology, Professor, National Academy of Science of Azerbaijan, Institute of Microbiology, Baku, Azerbaijan; Marina F. Dorokhova, PhD in Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Geography, Moscow, Russia. Translation by “Prima Vista” firm, Russia. Editor of the English translation: Dmitry E. Konyushkov, PhD in Soil Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Science Institute, Moscow, Russia. Reviewers: Alexander P. Khaustov, ScD in Geology, Professor, RUDN University, Moscow, Russia; Sergey V. Goryachkin, ScD in Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography, Moscow, Russia. ISBN 10: 1 4946 0014 5 ISBN 13: 978 1 4946 0014 3 DOI 10.31519/monography_1165 This book covers the fundamental problems of the interaction of hydrocarbons with the biosphere. It is based on long-term original studies by the authors and on information from modern scientific sources. Common features of carbonaceous substances — oil, natural gas, nature hard bitumen, and petroleum products — their chemical composition and toxicity are analyzed, and the main manifestations of the petroleum-driven anthropization of the environment are considered. The issues of stability of the natural systems in case of pollution by oil and petroleum products; the means for natural cleaning and remediation; and the methods for diagnostics, monitoring, and forecasting environmental changes caused by petroleum pollution are also discussed. This book targets a wide range of readers and, particularly, students interested in the ecological role of oil and gas in the environment.
DEDICATION MARIA A. GLAZOVSKAYA (1912-2016) Maria Alfredovna Glazovaskaya is a distinguished Russian scientist and educationalist, geographer, pedologist, geochemist, professor, the founder of the Department of Landscape Geochemistry and Soil Geography at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. M.A. Glazovskaya made a significant contribution to the development of a new science — landscape geochemistry and exploration geochemistry; her seminal works covered a wide range of problems in the fields of soil formation, soil classification, geography of soils, and geochemistry of technogenesis. M.A. Glazovskaya created methodological basis of the oil and gas environmental ecology, which encompassed forecast landscape-geochemical zoning in terms of transformation of the natural environment by oil production and transportation with the determination of the environmental resilience to anthropization.
INTRODUCTION Hydrocarbons are a global phenomenon on our planet. In the biosphere, hydrocarbons are ubiquitous, and appear in a variety of forms. Archaeologists found traces of oil and asphalt (bitumen) seeps on the Earth’s surface that occurred many thousands of years before humans. Even back in antediluvian times, humans perceived numerous oil occurrences as part of the environment. Noah, before the Flood, used the pitch (tar) to seal to waterproof his giant ark, while the people of Babylon, who wanted to make a tower so high that it should reach the sky, used asphalt to cement the brickwork. They did not think whether the reserves of this material were sufficient to finish the job. Petroleum and gas have been escaping to the Earth’s surface for thousands of years in many areas of the globe. However, no evidence exists that in the early days hydrocarbons were the biosphere antagonists. They were being dispersed in the atmosphere, consumed by microorganisms, oxidized and involved in photosynthesis as СО₂. The quantity of escaping hydrocarbons met the needs of the biosphere. In today’s world, oil and natural gas are the main fossil fuels. Since the 19th century, demand for these resources has been continuously growing. As petroleum is ubiquitous, it has been found in virtually all the regions, where oil exploration has been performed. Today, petroleum and gas are extracted from the Earth across all bioclimatic zones of the world on all inhabited continents, and in the surrounding seas. Earth holds enormous oil and natural gas resources. Although, they are distributed unevenly. Today’s oil production rate is 30 billion barrels per year. Gas production rate is about 4 trillion cubic meters per year. Oil and, to some extent, gas serve as a feedstock for the petroleum products that are sold and used everywhere across the globe. Such expansion of hydrocarbons into the biosphere has gradually come into collision with the naturally established ecological balances. Oil, natural gas, and products of their processing now have a global negative impact on the environment, including the Earth’s atmosphere, soil and vegetation cover, surface and groundwater on the continents, and the World Ocean. Scientists from all around the world conduct a huge number of scientific researches aimed at studying the conflicts between petroleum production and the biosphere, and finding ways to protect it in the context of growing demand for hydrocarbon resources. Scientists and petroleum 5
companies in many countries across the world are engaged in this activity. Results of their research are published in many languages. Joint efforts of the scientists help create a separate field of knowledge about how petroleum and gas production can co-exist with the environment and the biosphere in general. It is called Oil and Gas Geoecology or Oil and Gas Environmental Ecology. M.A. Glazovskaya greatly contributed to this field of knowledge via introducing general principles of landscape geochemistry (environmental geochemistry) into it [GLAZOVSKAYA, 1972, 1981, 1982, 1981, 1983, 1988, 2007]. The authors attempt to illustrate fundamental concepts of oil and gas geoecology, identify its most common problems and methods, and present preferred ways to protect and restore the environment affected by petroleum production. It is rather impossible to delve into the details of specific problems of oil and gas geoecology in the scope of a single book. Numerous studies addressing separate aspects of this science have been published. For details of these studies, see the extensive bibliography. The book is a summary of the authors’ long-term research, as well as their experience in teaching the fundamentals of oil and gas geoecology at Lomonosov Moscow State University and National Academy Science of Azerbaijan. The first part of the book deals with common features of natural and anthropogenic carbonaceous substances chemical composition toxicity, specifically, oil, natural gas, nature hard bitumen, and petroleum products. The major focus is on the natural hydrocarbon flows in the biosphere. The Earth larger geochemical hydrocarbon cycle is considered. Hydrocarbon flows emerge and circulate not only in the biosphere but also in deep geospheres (the lithosphere, mantle, Earth’s core), as well as in cosmic space. In the biosphere, these flows intersect. Natural hydrocarbons and carbon aceous substances in general are involved in the natural evolution of the biosphere without exposing it to any significant damage, if their simultaneous emissions remain below the critical threshold. A greater hazard for wildlife could come from some permanent geochemical associates that accompany hydrocarbons, such as high-salinity water, hydrogen sulfide, mercury, heavy metals, and radionuclides. Studying natural hydrocarbon flows in the biosphere helps better understand the role of the human-made carbonaceous substances that pollute the environment. The second part of the book deals with the main manifestations of petroleum anthropization in the environment. The term petroleum 6
anthropization describes geochemical processes related to the consequences of petroleum production environmental footprint (exploration, production, transportation, oil and gas processing, and use of petroleum products). The third part of the book discusses issues of stability and regeneration of land and marine natural systems affected by petroleum anthropi-zation. The biosphere has an enormous potential to withstand external impacts and natural purification. Mechanisms of natural purification of environmental components (soils, biocenoses, surface water, and groundwater) should be used to deal with the negative consequences of the environmental impact of the petroleum industry on ecosystems. The fourth part of the monograph provides a brief description of the oil and gas geoecology methods that include diagnosis, monitoring, and forecasting environmental changes caused by petroleum anthropization. Particular attention is paid to the fluorescence analysis and bioindication of polluted environments, types, and origin of hydrocarbon geochemical fields in the soil cover and methods of forecasting environmental changes in a variety of physical and geographical conditions. Most references to studies in the field of oil and gas environmental ecology concern Russian-language literature published in Russia, Azerbaijan, and other post-Soviet states. This literature is almost unknown to foreign readers. The authors’ intention is to spark an interest in these studies that have made an unquestionable contribution to environmental ecology. The authors hope that this work will be of interest to a broad audience of environmental protection specialists.
PART ONE NATURAL AND ANTHROPOGENIC CARBONACEOUS SUBSTANCES IN THE BIOSPHERE CHAPTER 1 CHEMICAL COMPOSITION, PROPERTIES, AND TOXICOLOGY OF CARBONACEOUS SUBSTANCES 1.1. THE CARBONACEOUS SUBSTANCES AND THEIR COMPONENTS Oil and natural gas are part of a large group of natural carbonaceous substances that are abundant in space, and all of Earth’s spheres, including the biosphere. Carbonaceous substances are generally non-crystalline molecular aggregates that vary in terms of their composition and origin, with the mass of carbon predominant over the mass of all other atoms. Apart from carbon, these aggregates contain hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen on the macroscale, and almost all other chemical elements on the microscale. Natural carbonaceous substances include all classes of hydrocarbons and heteroatomic compounds, oil, natural gas, nature hard bitumen, all kinds of fossil coals, and oil shale. In the biosphere, natural carbonaceous substances exist in solid, liquid, and gaseous phases. Anthropogenic carbonaceous substances circulating in the biosphere appear in the same states. They are essentially products of oil, natural gas, coal, and oil shale industrial processing, as well as waste left after their economic use. Natural products released into the environment from technical facilities (wells, pipelines, tanks, machines) could be nominally included into anthropogenic carbonaceous substances. Carbonaceous substances on the Earth mainly occur in two states, concentrated state and dispersed state. The bulk of carbonaceous substances in the atmosphere, soils, surface and groundwater, and rocks are in the dispersed state. Dispersed carbonaceous substances are ubiquitous in the biosphere and the lithosphere. In the lithosphere, concentrated accumulations of natural carbonaceous substances form fossil fuel deposits: oil, natural gas, nature hard bitumen, coals, and oil shale deposits. 8
All dispersed and concentrated carbonaceous substances and their components can be divided into bituminous substances, (soluble in organic solvents, mainly, in hydrocarbons and their chlorinated derivatives) and carboids (insoluble in organic solvents). The substance extracted from rocks, soils, and water bodies by means of a solvent is called a bitumoid. Natural bitumoids may include, apart from bituminous substances, lipid components of living or fossilized biota. Natural and anthropogenic carbonaceous substances include four main groups of chemical components: • natural hydrocarbon gases; • liquid and solid hydrocarbons with admixed low-molecular-weight heteroatomic compounds; • soluble high-molecular-weight substances (resins and asphaltenes); • insoluble amorphous coaly substances with a polymer or polycondensation structure. These components in different ratios produce the entire diversity of carbonaceous substances on the Earth. Dispersed natural carbonaceous substance mainly consists of native amorphous carbon (carboids). In sedimentary rocks, these are mainly fossilized products of transformation of the residues of dead organisms buried in the course of sedimentation (kerogen). Anthropogenic carbonaceous substances (petroleum products) consist of the same components as natural carbonaceous substances. However, the chemical composition of these components may differ from their natural counterparts. Further, we will elaborate on the characteristics of carbonaceous substances being the primary objects of oil and gas environmental ecology: natural gases, oil, nature hard bitumen, and petroleum products. Coals and oil shales are studied by coal and shale environmental ecology. 1.2. HYDROCARBON NATURAL GASES Natural gases permeate throughout the lithosphere, biosphere, and encircle the Earth in a continuous shell, the atmosphere. Occurrence forms and composition of natural gases on the Earth are diverse. Gas occurs in Earth’s crust as concentrated accumulations in rocks filling the free space of rock pores and fractures. In high concentrations, gas may be dissolved in water or oil. In the dispersed state, natural gas is very common in soils; in sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks; and in coal and saliferous beds. It is also released into the atmosphere during volcanic eruptions along with non-hydrocarbon gases. 9
Natural gases of oil and gas fields On an industrial scale, natural gases are produced at gas, condensate, and gas-oil fields. Natural gases mainly consist of saturated hydrocarbons (> 95%). Their composition includes methane, ethane, propane, iso- and n-butane, pentane and its isomers, as well as small quantities of hexane, heptane, and heavier hydrocarbons, including aromatic and naphthenic compounds (benzene, toluene, xylene, cyclopentane, cyclohexane, etc.). Natural gases always contain some amount of non-hydrocarbon components. These are nitrogen, carbon oxides, water vapor, zero group elements (helium, neon, argon, etc.); hydrogen sulfide and other sulfur compounds (mercaptans). Hydrogen and vapors of mercury and fatty acids have also been detected in natural gases. Free gases either accumulate in the lithosphere or are discharged through high permeability areas onto the Earth’s surface and escape into the atmosphere. Solution gas is removed from oil after it is extracted to the surface using purpose-built plants, separators. This is associated gas. Generally, it is not commercially significant, and it used to be burned directly in the field using gas flares. This led to environmental pollution with products of its incomplete combustion. Today, the trend is to use this gas for utility purposes as much as possible. Condensate. When natural gas occurs at great depths and under high pressures, light liquid hydrocarbons may be dissolved in it. In the course of gas extraction to the surface, lower pressure results in condensation of dissolved hydrocarbons into the liquid phase forming condensate. Condensates differ from “regular” crude oil by having negligent or zero content of heavy components (resins, oils) in their composition, while the simplest petroleum components prevail. This is caused by the dissolving capacity of gases. Dissolved natural gases The lithosphere holds enormous hydrocarbon reserves in the form of gases dissolved in water. These gases are divided into two major groups: • gases dissolved in groundwater (water-dissolved gas); • gases incorporated into the water structure that exist in the solid state at low temperatures (gas hydrate). Water-dissolved gas. In terms of quantity, water-dissolved gases are by far the most common among biosphere gases. All gases dissolve in water, depending on their ubility factor. СО₂, H₂S, NH₃ easily dissolve in water. Natural gases, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, as well as noble gases have low water solubility. Methane has the highest solubility among 10