Difficulties with Accurately Quantifying Radionuclide Activities in Oil and Gas Wastewater Utilizing Current Methodology

Shale Oil & Gas
Oral Presentation

Prepared by M. McNeal
ACZ Laboratories, Inc., 2773 Downhill Dr, Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 970-879-6590


Current radiochemical testing methodology is being employed for regulatory monitoring and potential contamination in oil and gas wastewaters and solids. The ability of such methods to accurately quantify radionuclides is important for our health and the environment. ACZ Labs participated in an inter-lab study assessing the accuracy of EPA radiochemical methods in oil and gas wastewater and solids. We found it difficult to quantify radionuclides, especially at low concentrations (levels at or below the lower limit of detection, LLD) due to difficulties posed from the matrices of oil and gas samples. Samples are routinely diluted to meet calibration standard density. This resolves saline interference, but often results in increased error and LLDs with inconsistent results.