Identifying past petroleum exploration related drill cutting releases and influences on the marine environment and benthic foraminiferal communities, Goliat Field, SW Barents Sea, Norway
Downstream dispersion of drill cuttings is evaluated by examining sediment grain size distribution and barium (Ba), heavy metal, total organic carbon and sulphur concentrations. Dispersion of drill cuttings was limited to < 125 m east from the drill site. Influence of drill cutting releases on the marine environment is assessed via microfaunal analysis of primarily calcareous benthic foraminifera. The findings suggest contemporaneous physical smothering at ≤ 30 m from the drill site, with a natural fauna reestablishing after drilling cessation indicating no long-term effect of drill cutting releases.