Waste Management

We generate both drill cuttings and produced water, two primary by-products, from our operations. In 2015, we actively implemented additional waste minimization, produced water recycling and beneficial use projects.

We also implemented treatment, recycling and reuse methods to manage our produced water captured during flowback from hydraulic fracturing operations and normal production. See our Water Resources Management page for additional details.

  • Proactively utilized 132,600 cubic yards of drill cuttings for well pad construction materials, a 56 percent increase from 2014.
  • Decreased utilization of reserve pits by using closed-loop systems for the management and reuse of drilling residuals on 163 wells in our Oklahoma operations and 55 in our North Dakota operations. No drilling occurred in our Utah operations in 2015.
  • Successfully completed compliance audits at 18 percent of the third-party waste management facilities utilized in our operations.


Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM)

Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) can be brought to the surface with produced water during oil and gas operations, and may accumulate on equipment. In accordance with regulatory requirements and our own NORM Management Program, employees and contractors are trained and certified annually to understand which of our operations, locations and equipment are associated with NORM exposure. Currently, production water radiation levels in our operations in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah are at background or are marginally detectable. Our protocols in these same areas of operations focus on management of NORM contaminated equipment including the proper procedures to work safely around NORM. In our training, we emphasize utilization of personal protective equipment and how to detect, handle, store, transport and dispose of NORM. In 2015, NORM surveyor training was conducted for personnel who inspect for NORM in all operational field offices. Approximately 55 people participated. This training is conducted bi-annually.