When environmental concerns are brought forward, waste management in the sea is rarely discussed.
However, waste from oil drilling firms operating in marine environments needs to be controlled to prevent contamination of the marine environment.
The Assistant EHC manager for Zeal Environmental Technologies Limited, a locally owned oil and gas waste management company in Ghana, Mr. Andrews Agyemang revealed in an interview with Skyy News’ Alex Tagoe that the companies store crude oil in large cargo tanks after drilling, but that after a while the waste turns into “sludge” and needs to be cleaned up.
He said that they had to clean it up since the sludge cannot be dumped into the sea due to a relationship with international legislation regarding contamination of the marine environment. “We take all the sludge back to our site for management,” he continued.
Mr. Agyemang further said that the sludge is chemically and biologically treated appropriately at their location.
He claims that the sludge’s chemical side is managed by adding additives, allowing it to stabilise, and eventually allowing it to transform into sand that may be utilised for block moulding in the construction of buildings.
He explained, “We have a way we introduce bacteria into the sludge,” in reference to the biological aspect of management. He said, “We use the hydrocarbons for other purposes like greenage because the bacteria will feed on the hydrocarbons in the sludge and cause the oil to disappear.”
Mr Andrew Agyemang further stated that his outfit doesn’t only focus on the marine environment, mining, and oil drilling waste management, they manage other waste too, like plastic waste because their main aim is to ensure that the environment is clean.
He also said that sometimes there is oil spillage and as a result, they have trained people who can do the oil clean-up exercise for onshore oil spillage, “they are more like contractors. We have some who work as permanent staff and also some who are contractors trained for our onshore clean up”, he disclosed.
Mr Agyeman said these are some of the ways Zeal seeks to protect the oceans from pollution.