Abstract—Oil well drilling activities generate residues called
drill cuttings that will be treated before being disposed onsite.
When drill cuttings are released into the sea, drill cutting piles
or mounds will form on the seabed. These pile formations may
hinder future under-sea operation. They may have adverse
impacts on corals if the thickness of the pile over the coral beds is
persistently high. This simulation study is conducted at the drill
cuttings release sites Z-1 and B-1 in the South China Sea off the
coast of Sabah. This modelling study will assess the potential
impacts of the pile formation on coral community and on the
ecology in the dive site (shipwreck) nearby. For Z-1, the
particles settle on the seabed far away from the corals and far
away from the shipwreck sites. Hence they will have no adverse
impact on the corals nor on the shipwreck site environment and
ecology. For B-1, the coral site is located at a shorter distance
from the discharge location. The pile height at the coral site
varies between 0.05 mm to 0.5 mm. The average sedimentation
rate varying between 3.1 to 31 mg/cm2/day occurs over a short
duration of 3.875 days. This low sedimentation rate over a short
duration will have insignificant impact on the corals.
Index Terms—Corals, drill cuttings, oil and gas, TUNA-PT.
S. Y. Teh is with the School of Mathematical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
H. L. Koh is with the Sunway University Business School, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Selangor Malaysia (e-mail: email@example.com).
Cite: Su Yean Teh and Hock Lye Koh, "Modeling Drill Cuttings Sedimentation on Corals for Exploration Wells Z-1 and B-1, Offshore Sabah," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 7, no. 12, pp. 913-920, 2016.