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Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) have been used in several offshore oil and gas production applications including as emulsifiers in drilling mud formulations, which may have resulted in their disposal to sea. Despite concern over the endocrine disrupting potential of their alkylphenol (AP) degradation products, information on the presence of AP/APEs in marine sediments in the vicinity of oil and gas production facilities is scarce. This paper presents the occurrence of AP/APEs in marine sediment in North Sea oil and gas fields. The concentrations of octylphenol, nonylphenol and their ethoxylates near offshore installations were broadly comparable to, or higher than those of coastal and estuarine point source discharges. When compared to environmental assessment criteria, the NPCA Class V threshold values for octylphenol and nonylphenol were exceeded within 100 m and 500 m of infrastructure respectively, with higher concentrations of AP/APEs reported in fields that came online prior to 1986. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Citation

Diana E K McLaren, Andrew J Rawlins. Occurrence of alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates in North Sea sediment samples collected across oil and gas fields. Marine pollution bulletin. 2022 May;178:113655

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PMID: 35461021

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