Quanics Incorporated

Alaska - Anadarko Oil Camp case study


Courtesy of Quanics Incorporated

The 'North Slope' of Alaska is one of the harshest environments in the world to survive in, let alone work in, on a daily basis. Temperatures can reach -70 degrees F and wind chill factors can reach -100 degrees F. The 'Slope' is home to thousands of oilfield workers, many of who live in portable camps located in extremely remote locations. In such an environment, equipment must be reliable, simple to operate, and easy to maintain. Anadarko Petroleum, Inc. was in need of a wastewater treatment system to serve one of their remote camps. The system would discharge to an environmentally sensitive area that is predominantly tundra and wetlands; therefore, the effluent would have to comply with State of Alaska Department of Environmental secondary treatment standards for BOD (30 mg/L), TSS (30 mg/L), and Fecal Coliform bacteria (40 Col/100mL). In addition, the system had to be energy efficient, easy to operate, reliable, and require little operator skill and oversight Anadarko contracted with Stallion Oilfield Services (SOS) to handle the selection and construction of their water and wastewater treatment systems.

The wastewater system selected would need to be capable of handling 5000 gpd of domestic strength wastewater generated from Anadarko's APC Arctic Camp. Stallion Oilfield Services contacted Gamess Engineering Group, Ltd. (GEG) of Anchorage, Alaska to provide a design solution. GEG worked with the Quanics engineering staff and both parties agreed that the Quanics' 'Synergy' mobile treatment system was the perfect solution for this application.

The design consisted of a primary treatment trailer (equalization tank, and a series of settling tanks with effluent filters) followed by a 5000 gpd Synergy mobile wastewater treatment trailer. The design was reviewed and approved for construction by the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The Synergy trailer was built at our factory and the primary treatment trailer was constructed in Anchorage, Alaska by Stallion Oilfield Services and MAK3 Construction.

Wastewater from the camp is first pumped to the primary treatment trailer, which consists of a 2,400 gallon aerated equalization tank followed by four (4) 2.400 gallon settling tanks (with effluent filters) connected in series. All are installed inside an insulated and heated ATCO Structure. Zabel effluent filters with progressive filtration were installed in each settling tank. As the wastewater flows through the series of tanks, the settleable solids, floating solids, and some suspended solids are removed through a process of clarification and filtration. Effluent from the primary treatment tank trailer is transferred to the Synergy'1* trailer where secondary treatment is achieved.

The Synergy trailer consists of 6,000 gallons of recirculation/ pump tankage, & two (2) Acroccll trickling filter units. The Aerocell trickling filter units are filled with an open cell foam media that services as surface on which microbes grow. Wastewater is sprayed on the foam media and then passes through the porous foam. During this process, suspended solids are filtered out and the soluble organic waste is consumed by microbes which thrive on the open cell foam cubes. After passing through the open cell foam media, 80% of the effluent is routed back to the recirculation/pump tanks for further treatment. The remaining 20% flows through a chforination/de-chlorination system and then discharged directly to the tundra. During low usage, such as during the night, a valve on the 20% discharge line closes and 100% of the effluent is routed back to the recirculation/pump tanks, 'super treating' the effluent.

The camp was made operational in January of 2009. The system was started up and operated by Stallion Oilfield Service for this years drilling season. The camp was moved to two (2) different sites during the drilling season. The operators were extremely pleased with the operation and ease of use. They stated that they pretty much started it up and it ran itself. There is no need to return sludge, waste sludge, monitor dis-solved oxygen levels, or run settelometer tests. All that is required is a periodic check of the tablet chlorination system. In short, virtually no operator skill is required. The average sampling result for the months of March and April was 14.4 mg/L for BOD and less than 10 mg/L for TSS. The highest BOD level tested (four tests) was 14.9 mg/L It should be noted that the system was hydraulically and organically overloaded by 20-40% during this sampling period and in spite of this, the system performed flawlessly.

The Quanics Certified Dealer, Gamess Engineering Group, Ltd. of Anchorage, Alaska designed and obtained the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) approval for the wastewater system. A special thanks to Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Stallion Oilfield Services, and MAK3 Construction for making the project successful.

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