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First-Order Environmental Risk Assessment of Oil Export System

Our experts have conducted ERA and examined the relative risks and expected environmental costs associated with the transportation of oil.

The kinetics of chemical reactions is often expressed as a power function of the concentration:


where k is a rate constant [T-1C1-n] and n is the reaction order. If n=o, the reaction is zeroth order; if n=1, it is first order; if n=2, it is second order; and so on. Many processes in risk assessment, not just chemical reactions, are either inherently first order or they are approximated as being first order. Physically, a first order process is one for which the time rate of change of contaminant concentration (or mass) is proportional to the concentration (or mass) present. Some chemical reactions are rigorously first order. Other processes, such as the removal of contaminants from plants and animals, leaching of contaminants from buried wastes, degradation of organic contaminants in the environment, settling of contaminants sorbed to particulate matter, and so on, are typically approximated as being first order.

Environmental Baseline Studies

Our specialists conducted environmental baseline study and risk assessment of several onshore facilities as part of oil production operations in the Caspian Sea. Tasks included a desk top study (site characterization, identify the groundwater monitoring criteria, identify monitoring wells placement), drilling of a large number of boreholes, soil sampling, water and air sampling, and installing permanent ground water monitoring wells. The environmental baseline project was valued at in excess of US $4M carried out on behalf of a consortium of oil exploration companies for the development of three offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea, off the coast of Baku, Azerbaijan. The project involved offshore data collection cruises, environmental auditing and risk assessment of existing offshore and coastal facilities, oil spill trajectory modeling, a review of international environmental standards which apply to the offshore Exploration Production Industry in the North Sea, Caspian Sea and US, a shoreline oil spill sensitivity study and several onshore contaminated land assessments.

We have also performed Phase 1 & 2 ESAs in the Greater Toronto area.

Environmental Site Assessments

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a risk management tool for lenders and potential purchasers of industrial, commercial, and agricultural property. The goal of a Phase I ESA is to identify Potential Environmental Concerns and Recognized Environmental Conditions (REC) associated with the subject property. The Phase I ESA process involves research into the historical land uses of the subject and neighboring properties, research into local, provincial, and federal regulatory environmental files and databases for the subject property and a site reconnaissance of the subject and neighboring properties. The results of a Phase I ESA may indicate further assessment to determine if a regulated environmental condition exists. Soil and groundwater sampling is conducted during Phase II in order to determine actual site conditions. Each Phase II ESA is designed to help our clients make informed decisions regarding their involvement with property. If contamination is found during the phased Site Assessment process, the project may proceed to site characterization and remediation if necessary.