Incidental Release Management
Unplanned releases of any kind – fuel/oil, gas, water, chemicals, muds, etc. – are inefficiencies we strive to eliminate. At Cabot, we seek to manage our operations effectively 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, the community and the environment as our top priorities.
Mitigation and Containment Systems
Cabot is very protective 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/containment structures and/or double-walled tanks as secondary containment for stored fluids, depending on operating conditions. During the drilling and completion process, Cabot utilizes closed loop circulating systems, which eliminate the need for lined impoundments. All secondary containments are inspected routinely to ensure that integrity is maintained.
We also continuously monitor our wellheads and production equipment for erosional flow conditions 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 third-party remediation contractor professionals to assist in documentation, sample and data collection and analysis, and remediation oversight.
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 to beneficially reuse generated wastewater to the extent possible. Solid wastes generated during exploration and production are generally landfilled and options to use the solid waste for beneficial reuse are periodically evaluated. Uncontaminated drill cuttings and soils are beneficially reused, to the extent possible (as discussed under Land Stewardship) in lieu of disposal at local landfills.