These guidelines for the sampling and analysis of chemical determinands drill cuttings piles have been developed to promote a more consistent approach across OSPAR Contracting Parties and offshore operators.
OSPAR Decision 2006/5 (OSPAR, 2006) requires operators to assess cuttings piles against oil loss and persistence thresholds, based on existing data (referred to as Stage 1). If either threshold is exceeded the operator is required to characterise the cuttings pile and review the impacts (referred to as Stage 2). Characterisation in Stage 2 includes determining the location, area, topography, volume, physical characteristics, chemical content and biological characterisation of the cuttings pile.
The aim of the guidelines is to provide the operator and regulators with a framework for the characterisation and assessment of cuttings piles under Stage 2 of Decision 2006/5, ensuring that the samples collected are representative and relevant to the decommissioning process. Samples collected should also be comparable with historical data sets from the site and/or at other locations.