Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dr. Walid Elshorbagy

Second Advisor

Dr. Munjed Maraqa

Third Advisor

Dr. Hadef Rashed AI-Owais


Managing solid waste, and any other wastes in general, is an environmental need, an economical choice and a legal requirement. Preserving the environment while lowering the cost becomes a necessity when liabilities are of concern.

Solid wastes generated from oil and gas industrial activities are very diverse in their characteristics, large in their amounts and many of which are hazardous in nature. Thus, the need to manage these wastes is an obvious mandate. Oil and gas industrial activities include exploration, drilling, production, processing, refining, manufacturing and exporting. Associated with these activities, other supporting services; such as, maintenance, civil, transportation, storage, accommodation and catering, usually exist in one field.

Several waste management techniques and plans are locally set for oil and gas industries. However, most are focused on a single company/activity lacking the comprehensive overview and the link to the management elements. In addition, the lack of inventory data records of their generated solid wastes was the main finding of several environmental studies implemented locally.

The thesis explored different solid waste management (SWM) issues for oil and gas industries and proposed a managing system that is applicable for a group of oil and gas industries located together with other associated service companies in one geographical area. The adopted SWM model consists of eight elements; HSE-MS, Identification, Characterization, Inventorization, SWM Hierarchy, Treatment & Disposal, Handling & Recording, and Plan Integration.

International and local solid waste standards and regulations are discussed for each of the management elements and methods. More focus is given to those related to oil and gas industries. Areas of improvement for the local regulations and standards are also presented.

Developing an electronic SWM database system is one of the main contributions of this thesis. The developed database is an essential and efficient tool that allows for recording and analyzing the data collected from oil and gas industries. This represents a valuable resource for the decision makers by which they can draw conclusions and ultimately make sound decisions.

Identifying types and characteristics of solid wastes generated by oil and gas industrial activities is a major step that led to the development of a waste classification and coding system. The developed system is representative and flexible that can accommodate all wastes generated from oil and gas industries, as well as, from other industries.

Asab field, located in the southwest region of AbuDhabi City, is selected as an application field to represent oil and gas industries. The field has three companies working in gas processing, one in oil production, in addition to another five main service provided companies. Other small companies are also present in the area for the purposes of labor supply, civil works and other general services.

Data collected from Asab field are analyzed considering four scenarios that account for the uncertainties associated with the reported amounts of generated waste, unit costs, and the output ratio of managing a solid waste. Fifteen variables are critically analyzed using the developed database software. Examples of the analyzed variables include overall waste generation, waste generation per different grouping criteria, recycling programs, and evaluation of different combustion, composting, and disposal conditions.

The annual amount of total waste generation in Asab Field is 3000 to 5000 tons, high percentage of this amount is contributed by industrial activities. For each 1000 barrel of oil produced in Asab Field the are 371 kilograms of solid waste, and for each 1000 cubic meter of NGL extracted there are 1588 kilograms of solid waste generated. 74% of total hazardous waste generated in Asab Field is contributed by Gas Processing activity. Establishing paper recycling program would gain a 9.1 to 31.1 thousand Dirhams per year. Waste available for composting ranges between 0.52 to 1.22 thousand tons per year, it is recommended to send this compost able waste to the municipality facility. High cost is being paid by site to transport waste (8 to 14 million Dhs./yr) this cost would go higher when the restrictive legislative applies, one recommendation to reduce transportation cost is by sharing transportation.

It is Recommended to adopt a single waste management system amongst all companies working in one field, with emphasizes on awareness program. Recommendations related to regulation and standards discussed the need for setting up long and short term waste management plans, reevaluate the roles and responsibilities of competent authorities, and the need to update and disseminate regulations requirements and status amongst specialists. There is evident need to improve the current waste inventorization and recording system, the proposed database system can be utilized. It is also recommended that waste code should be associated with waste characteristics, were unified code to be used regardless of generation source. Finally, specific recommendations for Asab field included the importance of reducing amount of waste currently being dumped, establishment of paper recycling program, options of compo sting organic wastes, and sharing waste transportatio