Expertise

Iron Creek’s expertise comes from field experience. Our technologies, patents, knowhow, and work methods, have all originated from “rolling up our sleeves”. We’ve kept our technologies as simple and robust as possible so that they can be mobilized to remote and challenging locations.
At the same time, our technologies are primarily designed around “thermal” treatment. In our opinion, thermal treatment is the only process that consistently delivers reliable and reproducible results.
We’ve never left a project unfinished yet we have performed cleanups that resulted from other company’s technological failures. These failures include soil washing, chemical oxidation, and bioremediation. While these technologies have performed well in many situations, they’re simply not reliable and consistent.
Iron Creek’s technology performs consistently in the field so that our clients are not at risk of wasting time, money, or reputation.

 

Oilfield Production Waste

Oil companies are growing to meet demand. They now have more oil rigs drilling than at any other time in history. It is typical for the drilling of a new well to produce ~1,500 tons of contaminated material. With more than 2,400 oil rigs drilling in the US alone, this equates to more than 3,000,000 tons of contaminated material. Iron Creek utilizes technologies that are designed to capture cuttings on-site, separate reusable materials, and recycle the remaining inert material as it is being generated.
The Iron Creek approach virtually eliminates the liabilities associated with transport and disposal of cuttings in landfill. Energy companies know that they are ultimately liable for the waste they landfill, regardless of any indemnification the landfills provide. They also understand the liabilities that come with waste hauling. Accidental spills are not positive publicity.
The Iron Creek approach eliminates the need for reserve pits and the associated expenses of building and maintaining the pit. Future liabilities are also eliminated because there is no waste left on-site. Iron Creek eliminates the need for energy companies to coordinate cuttings transport and disposal – a known challenge in severe climates such as the Bakken.

Oil & Fuel Spills

It’s inevitable; accidents occur and, in many instances, spills result. Iron Creek is able to respond with portable technologies capable of extracting and recovering the spilled materials.
As oil production increases in the U.S., the transportation infrastructure begins to feel the enormous strain with railroads and highways slammed with product movement.  Should an unfortunate spill occur, Iron Creek’s team is ready to respond with the best portable cleanup technologies available.
In 2013, railroads delivered 434,042 carloads of crude oil, an increase of 83 percent from 2012.
Three fiery derailments involving crude oil in the past year have caused increased concerns about these shipments.

 

Remote Cleanups

The Iron Creek team has been involved in a number of high-profile remediation projects in the most extreme locations around the world.  From the mangroves of Nigeria, to the frozen lands of the Arctic, our crews have experienced the extreme remote.
Our thermal technologies are able to be transported to locations that are problematic for conventional Thermal Desorption Units (TDU’s).

 

 

 

Case Studies

Marwell Tar Pit, Whitehorse, YT

  • Legacy WWII era former refinery site containing extremely high concentrations of heavy hydrocarbon waste, including free product tar;
  • Yukon & Federal Government designated “Contaminated Site”, managed by the Yukon Government;
  • Located in the middle of the City of Whitehorse, and surrounded by residential communities as well as commercial & industrial development;
  • The site is situated on the Kwanlin Dun First Nation and Ta'an Kwachan First Nation traditional lands.

Site Details

  • Approximately 36,000 tonnes of heavily impacted soil thermally treated at the site;
  • Impacts consisted of LEPH10-19 (Light Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons),
  • HEPHC19-C32 (Heavy Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons) and PAH impacts all exceeding territorial Contaminated Sites Regulations;
  • Site impacts a result of dumping of tank bottom sludge, pipe ends and other hydrocarbon wastes from refinery decommissioning in the mid-1940s.

Enhanced Thermal Conduction Operations

  • Site is very high profile and there was large scale media coverage as well as public & stakeholder interaction and engagement;
  • Extensive air permitting and emissions sampling and monitoring activities;
  • Treatment operations conducted through all seasons including extreme northern winter conditions.

ETC Results

  • Site-specific remediation objectives were originally developed for the site;
  • ETC process resulted in meeting SSRO’s and were well below required levels;
  • Thermal treatment had improved results allowing revision of target criteria to Yukon CSR Commercial/Industrial limits;
  • Post-treatment soil analysis confirmed all treated soil met the required criteria with many of the results approaching analytical detection limits.

Highlights

  • On-site treatment removed the liability from treated material;
  • Resulted in improved soil treatment targets being implemented;
  • Approx. 1,000 truckloads of soil kept off roads & diverted from landfill;
  • Thermal soil treatment a timely and guaranteed solution for remediation;
  • Successful remediation of technically challenging hydrocarbon impacts.

Northeastern British Columbia

  • Legacy oil & gas location with multiple hydrocarbon impacted areas on site;
  • Located in the Jedney gas field, approximately 175 kilometers northwest of Fort St John, BC;
  • Site is accessed from the Alaska Highway via a network of resource roads;
  • Abandoned location and the surrounding land use is forested public land.

Site Details

  • Approximately 22,000 tonnes of impacted soil at the site;
  • Impacts consisted of BTEX parameters as well as with VPH6-10 (Volatile Petroleum Hydrocarbons) and LEPH10-19 (Light Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons) all exceeding provincial Contaminated Sites Criteria;
  • The site impacts a result of historical operations and cumulative spill events.

ETC Process Description

  • Impacted soil was excavated and placed into+/- 850 m3 ETC treatment cells;
  • LPG (Propane) was used for burner fuel;
  • Treatment cell turnaround times ranged from 4- 6 days, per cell;
  • Alternate cell was constructed while treatment was underway on the primary cell;
  • Around the clock remote temperature and video monitoring provided data to ensure treatment goals were achieved.

Site Layout

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 11.07.12 AM

Treatment Results

  • Approximately 22,000 tonne of hydrocarbon impacted soil was treated with the ETC process;
  • All post-treatment samples analyzed were below these standards for each sampling event during the entire project;
  • Treatment commenced in the rainy season of June and ran into the extreme cold of January;
  • Liability was removed from the site;
  • Surface reclamation was completed following thermal soil remediation treatment.

Yukon Territory (Remote Fly In)

  • Former mineral exploration site from the 1960’s;
  • Extremely remote and accessible only by air;
  • Located in mountainous terrain along the Snake River, approximately 100 km south of the Arctic Circle;
  • Unimproved 1,100’ backcountry airstrip;
  • Minimal infrastructure available at site;
  • Site located on Na-Cho Nyak Dun traditional lands.

Details

  • Historical diesel storage tank release of unknown volume;
  • Approximately 2,000 tonne of diesel impacted soil;
  • Diesel Range Organics with concentrations up to 22,000 mg/kg;
  • BTEX, LEPH10-19 and HEPH19-32 exceeding Yukon CSR guidelines;
  • Soils ranging from gravel to tight clay with high moisture content.

Custom ETC Solution Was Developed

  • ETC equipment was designed to be hand loaded onto a de Havilland Twin Otter aircraft;
  • Treatment cell sizes were modified in order to reduce overall gear requirements;
  • LPG (Propane) supplied from multi-tank arrays was used as burner fuel;
  • Portable cell covers constructed of heat resistant silicone cloth and rolled sheet metal was utilized.

ETC Monitoring

  • Real-time monitoring was utilized to manage remediation parameters & treatment duration;
  • LAN was setup to allow 24-hour remote monitoring.

Treatment Results

  • Treatment was successfully completed within four weeks using two ETC cells;
  • Post treatment soil analysis confirmed all samples met the Yukon CSR guidelines for hydrocarbons with the majority of the samples approaching detection limits;
  • Soil treatment was able to continue through extended periods of severe weather and heavy rain;
  • Contaminated site liability was removed from the client’s inventory and closure was achieved at the site.