NORM Training

Shauna Landsberger MSPH
Graham George, President
Enviroklean Product Development Inc,
(EPDI),Houston, Texas
 NORM and TENORM in Oil Field
 Texas State Regulations
 Worker Safety Training
 Training Health Risks of working with NORM
 Obstacles of Working in the Oil and Gas Field
 Continuing Education in the Oil Field
NORM and TENORM in the Oil Field
 Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) or
Technically Enhanced Natural Occurring Radioactive
Material (TENORM)
Geological Information
Uranium and
Thorium collect
between layers of
Hydrocarbons collect
in “traps” made by
faults and shales.
Geological Information
 238U and 232Th are naturally present in the Earth’s
crust and mantle.
 They are found in small amounts and are not
significant components in most minerals
 Geological Locations
 Shales tend to absorb radionuclides and act as
traps for hydrocarbons.
 Deposits can be located at the boundaries of
sandstone layers.
Geological Information
 Decay products of 238U and 232Th are 226Ra (t1/2 = 1630
years) and 228Ra (t1/2 = 5.8 years), respectively
 238U and 232Th are insoluble and usually remain in
place in the formation.
 226Ra and 228Ra are more soluble than their parents
and are mobilized by liquid
 Uranium, Thorium, and Radium “have an affinity for
crude oil”
Oil and Gas Wells
Arial distribution in the continuous United (US Department of the Interior, 1999)
States producing oil and gas wells through
Oil and Gas Wells
 Three phases of oil and gas wells will be
 Drilling and Workover Operations
 Production
 Abandonment
How Norm Is Brought
to the Surface
 NORM is brought up to the surface by the
transport of gas and oil products
 Produced water
 Drilling mud and sludge
 Evaporation ponds and pits
Drilling and Workover Operations
Drilling mud (a liquid
used to lubricate the bit,
bring cuttings to the
surface, and hold back
the formation) also come
in contact with NORM
and can be contaminated.
Pipes with Radioactive Scale
in the Oil Field
Formation of Radioactive Scale
in Pipes
Formation of Radioactive Sludge in
Production Equipment
 Wells may be abandoned for a variety of reasons:
 The well is lost due to catastrophic equipment
 Drilling complications do not allow the desired
producing zones to be accessed.
 The well is producing too much water.
 It is no longer economically feasible to continue
West Texas Oil and Gas Field
NORM Regulations
 NORM is regulated by state organizations rather than
federal organization
 Texas has two organizations in charge of NORM
regulations in Texas
 Rail Road Commission (RRC)
 Regulates disposal of oil and gas NORM
 Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
 Regulates NORM contaminated substances such as
soil and equipment.
 Set regulations for storage, transportation and
commercial distribution of the products from oil
and gas drilling including produced water
Who Can Benefit from
NORM Training
 Employees working with NORM
 Either with decontamination or maintenance of
equipment in the oil and gas field
 Employees of Oil and Gas Companies
 Anyone from a field worker to an executive
Worker Safety Training
 Job Site Safety
 Emergency Preparedness
 Personal Protective Equipment
 Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)
Job Site Safety
 Job site safety is an important concept to teach in
the class and field
 It is ultimately the responsibility of the RSO on site
to make sure that company protocols and safety
measures are taken into effect
 It is also important for all employees to know the
basic safety measures before starting work on a job
Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)
 Radiation Safety Officer is responsible for the day
to day safety measures and on the job site training
while in the field
 They are in charge of a safety meeting each day on
the job site before work can start
 In charge of “frisking out” each employee as they
leave the job site
Job Site Safety
Emergency Preparedness
 Teaching emergency procedures of the company is
 During the class each person should know the
basic emergency procedures that happen on job
 Once on the job site the emergency procedures will
be reinforced and shown where the emergency
equipment is such as shower, eye wash, phone
numbers, map to nearest emergency room
Stressing the Importance of Personal
Protective Equipment (PPE)
 All workers must wear PPE while on job site
 This must be stressed during the class and everyday
while in the field
 PPE can include:
 Gloves, fire retardant clothing, hard hat, safety
glasses, steel toed boots, mask, self contained
breathing apparatus, H2S monitor, TLD badge
Personal Protective Equipment
Teaching Health Risks from
NORM Exposure
 It is important to stress the importance of health
effects when working with NORM both to the worker
and the general public
 The radionuclides that pose the most risk in the oil
and gas field are Ra-226, Ra-228, Rn-222 and
 More detail on the specific side effects is reinforced
Teaching Health Risks from
NORM Exposure
 It is vital to stress that if all the safety measures and
precautions talked about during the course reduce
the risk of the health effects from working with
 The goal is for the employees to know there is risk
involved in working with NORM but they have ways
to reduce the risk
 “Frisking Out” is also revisited during this part of the
Obstacles of Training in Texas
Oil and Gas Field
 English may not be the first language of the
participants in the class
 There is a variety of educations levels
 Which means teaching to all levels of education
 It is critical to go over the basics of radiation
including basic chemistry
Over All Goals
Continuous Education
 It is important that the workers are continuing to
be reinforced with the key points they learned
during the training
 On the job site training is important and new jobs
and situations come up
 It is also important to keep up with any changing
laws or regulations from state government
Thank You for Your Time
Any Questions

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