Under the stringent environmental regulations of the Romanian EPA, Region 2 was required to maintain a "zero discharge" environment onboard when drilling with synthetic based mud (SBM). All cuttings were shipped to shore for in special containers for disposal.
The drilling operations group used patented CLEANCUT technology to successfully achieve this goal without any spills or incidents. This system provided a complete field-proven method for safely containing, handling, temporarily storing and transporting SBM drill cuttings. All operations were conducted within a fully automated and totally enclosed and protected environment. All the cuttings were captured in a closed system and put in big tanks on the rig. They were transferred from these tanks to the boat for safe disposal onshore. This system proved to be both economically and environmentally sound when compared to using traditional smaller skips requiring more handling and a higher risk of spills. When cuttings arrived onshore they were incinerated in a cement kiln and the ash was then used to make cement and bricks.
Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit
The Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) used for the Romanian drilling campaign was designed to manage wastes generated onboard. Due to the extremely sensitive environmental in the Black Sea discharges to the ocean were tightly restricted, even including the food waste. Any food discharges could disrupt the seasonal migration patterns of fish and mammals within the Black Sea ecosystem.
In addition, Region 2 and its contractors practiced robust waste minimization program that reduced and reused virtually all the packaging and containers that arrived on board. All deck drainage was either treated through an oil water separator prior to discharge or inspected for an oil sheens before being discharged overboard. By implementing these procedures Region 2 either eliminated or significantly minimized any impacts to the Black Sea.
Mammals and Avian
In addition to monitoring operations and their impact on the environment, Region 2 placed a marine mammal biodiversity observer (MMBO) on-board the MODU.
The MMBO's objective was to observe marine life and birds, and report any fluctuations in their seasonal patterns. By comparing this data over several months and, eventually, over years, Region 2 will be able to accurately assess the biological changes if any on migratory and behavioral patterns.