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Drilling waste management is ever evolving as new drilling fluid systems get developed, and regulatory guidelines change over time.

By working closely with your environmental services company during the planning stages of your drilling fluids program, we can help you identify potential disposal issues that could result in increased costs, and we can offer you suggestions that can help you meet your fluid performance objectives while helping your company develop the most cost efficient disposal program.

The drilling fluids system that you select will directly affect the options that you have for disposing of the drilling waste generated from all sections of your well.

Drilling Waste Disposal Planning

Having a thorough drilling waste management plan is essential for communicating drilling waste disposal options to all parties involved in drilling operations. When properly developed and executed, a drilling waste management plan will save you time and money.

Our comprehensive drilling waste management plans include:

  • Determination of disposal options for the selected drilling fluid system to comply with regulatory guidelines for the province of operation.
  • Conduct sump suitability assessments and above ground earthen bermed storage areas assessments when required.
  • Preparation of a detailed step by step plan for managing each unique drilling waste component (fluids, solids, and cement).
  • Preparation and submission of written notifications to appropriate regulatory bodies before disposal of drilling waste.
  • Preparation and submission of drilling waste management facility waste disposal applications.
  • Contingency planning if weather conditions or drilling conditions dictate a deviation from the original drilling waste management plan.
  • If requested, arrange services including vacuum trucks, storage tanks, mixing and storage bins, sawdust delivery, and trucking services for waste transport to an approved waste management facility.

Disposal Options

Currently, the most common disposal options for drilling waste are:

  • Landspray While Drilling (LWD) – A cost effective solution for the disposal of water-based drilling waste that eliminates the associated costs of selecting and constructing drilling sumps. Disposal of drilling waste typically occurs on agricultural lands. In May of 2012, the Alberta Energy Regulator released the Directive 50: Drilling Waste Management (2012) disposal guide. New criteria for drilling sump construction were included that could result in much higher costs for the acquisition of suitable land and construction of sumps.
  • Disposal Onto Forested Public Lands (DFPL) – Disposal of drilling wastes similarly to LWD, however, the disposal usually occurs in winter on specific types of dispositions issued under the Alberta Public Lands Act.
  • Mix Bury and Cover (MBC)/Residual Solids Disposal (RSD) – A method of disposal where by drilling waste is mixed with receiving soil to create a consistent mass of material that is then covered by clean fill to complete the disposal. Most often used to manage segregated drill cuttings or in conjunction with a pump off disposal option.
  • Landspread On Lease (LOL) – Method used to dispose of water based drilling waste by spreading out on the surface of a wellsite, pipeline right of way or a remote site and then incorporating the waste into the shallow subsoil on location.
  • Pump Off – Disposal of the clear fluid portion of drilling waste onto typically vegetated land. Often used in conjunction with another option for the disposal of drilling waste solids such as mix, bury, and cover. Pump Off Disposal is a cost effective way to reduce the volume of waste before mixing off the remaining sump liquids and solids.
  • Approved Waste Management Facility – There are times when the only feasible solution to dealing with drilling waste is to use a drilling waste management facility. We provide comprehensive waste characterization, analytical data review, acquisition of waste management facility approvals and tracking of wastes on your behalf to ensure fast turnaround times and cost effective disposal solutions.

Drilling Waste Tracking & Manifesting

Combined with an appropriate drilling waste management plan, tracking of drilling wastes generated from drilling projects is key in ensuring that waste streams are segregated, and the location of wastes is known at all times. Improper tracking or integration of incompatible drilling wastes can result in thousands of dollars in additional disposal and clean-up costs.

Keneco Environmental Offers:

Field supervision of drilling waste disposal activities and ongoing inspection of drilling waste containment areas to ensure no cross contamination of drilling wastes has occurred.

  • Detailed record keeping of drilling activities including the acquisition of drilling fluid usage reports.
  • Preparation of site schematics and imagery indicating the location of waste storage systems and the wastes that contributed to each storage system. Detailed record keeping of drilling activities including the acquisition of drilling fluid usage reports.
  • Sampling and analysis of drilling waste to determine the most appropriate and cost effective method for disposal of drilling waste at the completion of the project.
  • Full manifesting and tracking of waste volumes transported to an approved drilling waste management facility.

Need Help With Drilling Waste Management?


Keneco Environmental has wide ranging experience in developing, carrying out and completing remediation and reclamation programs throughout Western Canada.

Keneco’s professionals are experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of provincial regulations and guidelines and provide Land Remediation and Reclamation services in the following disciplines:

Spill Response

Keneco Environmental is capable of providing spill response services throughout Western Canada including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Our range of spill response services includes:

  • Spill site assessment including mitigation, testing, remediation/clean up as well as site restoration and monitoring.
  • Landowner and regulatory consultation including report preparation and submission.
  • Assisting in developing best management practices and spill response planning programs.

Site Remediation and Reclamation

Keneco Environmental has assembled a team of environmental professionals that are capable of managing the complete environmental remediation and reclamation process including initial assessment, remedial planning and design, site supervision and post remediation and reclamation monitoring.

Our remediation and reclamation services include:

  • Subsurface and surface reclamation and remediation.
  • Surface restoration and re-vegetation management.
  • Post construction reclamation monitoring.
  • Professional sign-off on remediation and reclamation projects.

Detailed Site Assessments (DSA)

The Detailed Site Assessment (DSA) is completed for the wellsite and associated facility once the soils have been replaced on the location and the vegetation has had the opportunity to re-establish. This is completed after a few growing seasons but may take longer if the site encounters issues such as weed infestations, severe drought conditions, etc. The DSA is completed to ensure the disturbed area has been returned to an equivalent land capacity in relation to the surrounding area.

DSA’s involve the following:

  • Lease contouring is assessed and compared to adjacent topography.
  • Soils undergo comprehensive assessments to ensure soil replacement meets offsite controls in depth, type, and numerous texture characteristics.
  • Vegetation is assessed to ensure plant health, density, litter, and composition match offsite control vegetation.
  • Professional Sign-off – If the DSA determines that the affected area meets criteria, a Reclamation Certificate Application (Alberta), Acknowledgment of Reclamation (Saskatchewan) Certificate of Restoration (British Columbia) or a Certificate of Abandonment (Manitoba) will be applied for.

Need Help With Land Reclamation and Remediation Services?


Keneco Environmental has been conducting Environmental Assessments for our clients throughout Western Canada for over 19 years. Our team of dedicated professionals can develop and implement comprehensive solutions that ensure compliance with client and regulatory requirements.

Keneco Environmental offers a full range of Environmental Assessments in the areas of:

Environmental Planning

The first step in obtaining a license, disposition, or right-of-way is to assess the physical environment in which the activity is to be placed. Environmental Planning, when completed first, prevents unnecessary spending due to re-surveying, field scouting, regulatory conflicts/non-compliance, and time delays.

  • Keneco Environmental offers the following Environmental Planning services:
  • Environmental Protection Plans.
  • Conservation and Reclamation Plans.
  • Native Consultation.
  • Mitigation Plans (Caribou Protection Plans, wetlands, sensitive wildlife/habitat).
  • Enhanced Approval Process (EAP).
  • Environmental Screening Proposals (Special Areas, Indian Oil & Gas, Saskatchewan Crown Lands).
  • Regulatory Compliance (Water Act Notification, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, AER Mitigation).
  • Water Diversion Approvals & Water Crossing Notifications.
  • Construction and reclamation project management and monitoring.

Wellsite and Pipeline Pre-Disturbance Assessment

Pre-Disturbance Assessments are completed prior to construction to determine baseline environmental conditions.
Advantages to completing a pre-disturbance assessment:

  • Obtains a complex assessment of soil, vegetation and landscape conditions prior to disturbance.
  • Identifies potential environmentally sensitive areas and determines proximity to water bodies.
  • Ensures environmental regulatory compliance.
  • Presents an illustrated layout of existing base line conditions for use during the restoration and reclamation process.

Environmental Due Diligence and Liability Assessments

Keneco conducts Environmental Due Diligence / Liability Assessments in accordance with principles and procedures detailed in CSA Standard Z768-94, Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment and also, where applicable, incorporates the requirements specified in Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) publication T/573: Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Guideline for Upstream Oil and Gas Sites (as amended).

As certain client requirements and financial restrictions vary, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s) are sometimes modified to cover client specific needs.

Environmental Due Diligence and Liability Assessments involve evaluating and reporting certain lands that an oil & gas company may be interested in acquiring. This will enable companies to make informed decisions regarding additional liability before the acquisition of the subject properties.

This process in Alberta involves:

  • A review of well files associated with the location or site.
  • A regulator release and complaint search (Spill Search).
  • ESAR (Alberta Environment Site Assessment Repository) Search.
  • An Environmental Enforcement Search (Alberta.)
  • A Historical Aerial Photo Review.
  • Interviews with Personnel (Landowners).
  • A Field Visit or Site Inspection.

The final report details the scope of work and recaps the findings of the steps involved. It summarizes site specific environmental issues, provides a general statement regarding the subject properties, and also comments on limitations and exceptions encountered.

Waste Tracking and Manifesting

Keneco Environmental offers a fully integrated oilfield waste tracking system to ensure compliance with ERCB Directive 058 and other regulatory agencies.

Keneco’s Waste Tracking team provides the following services:

  • Assist our clients in gathering required waste information.
  • Provide training and assistance to all corporate levels to ensure that all required waste documentation is received with no waste tracking, handling and manifesting errors.
  • Contact all waste receivers on an annual basis to ensure all required waste documentation is received and tracked.
  • Ensure proper coding of all required wastes.
  • Provide waste tracking reports when requested as well as provide annual waste tracking reports.
  • Submission of the waste disposition reports to the AER through the DDS system.
  • Retain all waste tracking documentation for a minimum two year period.

Wellsite Inspection and Site Assessment Reports (WISAR)

A WISAR Assessment provides pertinent data as to site conditions, and includes Surface Casing Vent Flow Testing (SCVF) and Gas Migration Testing (when applicable) as well as obtaining pressure readings from well tubing and casing. The data contained within Keneco’s WISAR reports are compiled from well records review and a site visit to the subject property and can be useful for both active and inactive wellsites.

A WISAR Assessment includes: 

  • Suspended Well Compliance Inspections.
  • Complete Gas Migration Testing and Surface Casing Vent Flow Testing.
  • Stabilized Shut-In Pressure Testing for Casing, Tubing and Surface Casing vents.
  • Obtain ERCB Well information and recent aerial photos in the initial desktop review.
  • Conduct a reconnaissance visit to determine site access, conditions and facilities present and document with a sketch and photos.
  • Ensure compliance with ERCB Directive 20: Well Abandonment.

Need Help With Environmental Assessments?


Keneco Environmental has been helping clients navigate the ever changing regulations that govern the acquisition of water in each provincial jurisdiction we serve for the past 23 years.

From a small water approval to drill a well to acquiring long term water licenses for fracing or water flood purposes, we have the professionals and the expertise to make sure that your application is completed the first time correctly so that you do not face delays due to missing or incomplete information.

We regularly communicate with provincial regulators to obtain guidance before completing an application so that we can provide all of the required information to speed the approval process. We don’t guess or make assumptions. We get the facts, and that saves you time and money.

We offer the following water acquisition services:

  • Aquitison of water permits for drilling and fracing operations.
  • Obtaining Temporary Field Authorizations for accessing water on public lands.
  • Preparation of applications for the construction of water reservoirs and holding ponds.
  • Term water license applications for water injection and large scale fracing projects.

Need Help With Water Acquisitions?

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320, 717 - 7th Avenue SW

Calgary, AB

T2P 0Z3


(403) 237-8137