12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > The potential for anaerobic mineralisation of h...
View graph of relations

« Back

The potential for anaerobic mineralisation of hydrocarbon constituents of oily drill cuttings from the North Sea seabed.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • Rebekka R. E. Artz
  • Kirk T. Semple
  • Ken Killham
  • Jim I. Prosser
  • Graeme I. Paton
Journal publication date2002
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Journal number4
Volume4
Number of pages5
Pages553-557
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The potential for natural attenuation of hydrocarbons in oily drill cuttings from the seabed beneath a North Sea oil platform was investigated. The study focused on the anaerobic degradation of n-hexadecane, n-octacosane and naphthalene using additions of C-14-labelled analogues to drill cuttings samples and was conducted under realistic seabed conditions (except pressure) over an 11-month period. No mineralisation of naphthalene was detected over this time period and mineralisation of octacosane represented only 0.5-1.5% of the added label. In contrast, mineralisation of hexadecane was 10-49% after 11 months of incubation. Selective inhibition of key functional bacterial groups revealed the key role of both sulfate reduction and methanogenesis in the degradation process. This study demonstrates the potential for natural attenuation of at least some hydrocarbon constituents of oily drill cuttings under realistic environmental conditions and highlights the involvement of a wide functional consortium in the natural attenuation process.