How best to approach ecotoxicity testing for offshore oil and gas sector decommissioning?

Our Analytical Services Manager Michelle Robertson is looking forward to presenting at the 3rd International Conference on the Decommissioning of Offshore & Subsea Structures on 22 February. She will be talking about NCIMB’s MARA and LumiMARA ecotoxicity tests and their potential for use during the decommissioning process.
Environmental impact assessment is an important consideration with respect to decommissioning of offshore production facilities, and a risk-based whole effluent assessment (WEA) approach would be well suited to this purpose, as offshore structures often contain accumulations of historical waste that are a complex mix of substances. Unlike the single substance-based approach, which analyses for selected chemicals, a whole sample approach measures the impact of both known and unknown substances as well as synergistic effects, on organisms from different levels of the food chain – and this can include microorganisms.

NCIMB’s MARA and LumiMARA tests are multispecies microbial ecotoxicity tests that are recommended by the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) in preference single species microbial tests, as part of their preferred approach to assessment of another complex oil and gas waste substance – produced water. Michelle’s presentation will consider oil and gas industry experience gained to date in using the tests, and their potential for decommissioning.