Incidental Release Management
Unplanned releases of any kind – oil, gas, water, chemicals, muds, etc. – are inefficiencies we strive to eliminate. At Cabot, we seek to effectively manage our operations such that spills and incidental releases do not occur. In the event that we do have an incident, we are prepared with secondary containment systems, auto-shutoff instrumentation and controls, response plans, incident investigation and corrective action. In addition, we utilize spill response companies for spill management and professional removal, remediation and disposal of waste to ensure all releases are handled with the safety and wellbeing of our employees and the community as our top priority.
Mitigation and Containment Systems
Cabot is very conservative when it comes to containment systems used to intercept incidental releases and prevent pollution from reaching soil or water. Across our operations, we utilize impervious berms or double-walled tanks as secondary containment for stored fluids, depending on operating conditions.
Additional pollution-control measures include containment and controls designed to capture or minimize small quantities of oil and produced water that may escape wellheads on pumping oil wells due to repetitive rod motion and seal wear. When the system detects the presence of oil or produced water, a mechanism is activated causing the pumping unit to shut down, preventing further release of any products. The system is also designed to detect certain changes in well conditions that could lead to future releases of hydrocarbons or produced water.
We also continuously monitor our wellheads and production equipment for erosional flow conditions in order to minimize the potential for piping and equipment failures that could result in an accidental release of produced fluids.
By maintaining a remote, automated system with 24/7 monitoring and control, our personnel can immediately respond to minimize lost production and the potential for environmental damage and costly cleanups.
Investigation and Corrective Action
No matter the size, all releases are reported internally. We analyze all releases to determine cleanup and restoration needs as well as to identify preventative measures to avoid reoccurrence. Cabot retains a third-party spill response team to assist in documentation, data collection and analysis, and remediation planning.
Reducing operational waste is an important objective for Cabot. Our absolute focus is on intentionally designing our processes to maximize efficiency and minimize waste generation. One of the higher-volume waste streams in our operations is wastewater in the form of produced and flowback water. As described in the water section, Cabot utilizes water recycling efforts and disposal by underground injection. Solid wastes generated during exploration and production are generally landfilled and options to use the solid waste for beneficial reuse are continuously evaluated.