Investigation of Heavy Metal Traces during Drilling Operations in the Bibi Hakimeh Oil Field, Iran

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Medical Geology Research Centre, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, P.O. Box 14515/775, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, P.O. Box 14515/775, Tehran, Iran


Drilling operations release considerable amounts of drilling fluids that contain pollutants such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons. By means of the ICP-OES device, the concentration of metals in the drilling mud deposited in the accumulation pools (around the drill rigs), the drilling mud used in the well (initial, input, and output mud), the soil around the drilling rig, and the control sample can be determined. Comparison of metal accumulation volume with current standards (upper crust and the region’s soil) indicates that the initial drilling mud contains As, Cd, Mo, Cu, and Ag metals. Also, the outflow and associated cuttings are contaminated with Sb, showing a geological formation origin for this metal. In case of Pb, Ba, Cr, and Mn, the level of contamination is in a medium range wherein the source of the contamination is recycled mud and drilling rocks in the previous phases. Contamination of other metals is evaluated in the low range. Geo-accumulation index (Igeo), Enrichment Coefficient (EF), and Contamination Factor (CF) are used to determine the level of pollution. Results show that As, Pb, Ba, Mn, Mo, Cd, Co, Cu, and Zn have caused a lot of pollution in the area and their amounts should be controlled.


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