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§ 68 Discharge of cuttings, sand and other solid particles

Drill cuttings, sand and other solid particles shall not be discharged to sea if the attachment of base fluid in organic drilling fluid or formation oil is more than ten grams per kilo of dry mass.
The operator must have a permit under Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) for the discharge of cuttings if the attachment of base fluid in organic drilling fluid is equal to or less than ten grams per kilo of dry mass.
Drill cuttings with pendants of water-based drilling fluid, and sand and other solid particles may be discharged to sea if the content of formation oil is equal to or less than ten grams per kilo of dry mass, unless otherwise permitted by the Pollution Control Act Chapter 3.
Chemicals that accompany cuttings, sand or other solid particles at sea must be subject to a permit to discharge, cf. {HYPERLINK|Section 66|Aktivitetsforskriten|p66|1033|INTERNAL|Aktivitetsforskriten|forskrift}, first subsection.
The operator must obtain a permit pursuant to Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) to inject materials such as cuttings, sand and other solid particles.
Section last changed: 01 January 2020

The operator must obtain a permit from the Norwegian Environmental Agency for petroleum activities under Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Application for permit under the Pollution Control Act is subject to Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only), and a fee is fixed for the Environmental Agency’s processing relating to applications for permits pursuant to Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only).
The regulations’ general requirements for the petroleum activities on the continental shelf apply to all operators. The permits under the Pollution Control Act will normally contain conditions that are specific and adapted to each activity. Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives further provisions on the processing of permits under the Pollution Control Act. The Norwegian Environment Agency has described further expectations for the content of applications and expected processing time in the Guidelines for applications regarding offshore petroleum activities, TA-2847-2011. Chapter 39 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives provisions for fees for work with permits.
Choice of development solution can have a major impact on the environmental impact of the actitivities. In the case of new developments and upgrades of existing facilities, operators should inform the Norwegian Environment Agency well in advance of their choice and development solutions, of their assessments of best available techniques in accordance with {HYPERLINK|Section 11 of the Framework Regulations|Ramnmeforskriften|p11|1033|INTERNAL|Ramnmeforskriften|forskrift} and Sections 4 and 5 of the Facilities Regulations. This applies regardless of whether the development is covered by the requirement for impact assessments.
This section regulates the handling of solid fractions. Particles in suspension, such as those supplied with produced water through the process and purification plant, are covered by Sections 60, 60a, 60b and 69. When such particles are separated from the water stream, they will be covered by this section.
By cuttings, sand and other solid particles is meant solid material from the formation. Mineral based weight material, sand and other solid particles that are added, are considered chemicals, cf. the fourth subsection. By organic drilling fluid is meant mineral oil-based and synthetic drilling fluid.
Normally, the Norwegian Environment Agency will not impose more detailed requirements for handling cuttings with pendants of water-based drilling fluid. However, this will be assessed in areas with vulnerable environmental values, such as sandeels, corals and sponges.