How Are Oil Wells Discovered? - Petroleum Courses

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How Are Oil Wells Discovered?

For the record, human beings have known for a while that oil comes from the ground. In fact, Marco Polo visited a Persian City named Baku and saw oil being collected from seeps. Even back to 347 AD the Chinese were recorded drilling holes in the ground to extract oil
Back then extracting oil was as easy as sticking a bamboo stick in the ground, but today it’s much more complicated than that

How do we discover oil wells miles beneath the earth’s crust? Let’s find out

Truthfully we used to just drill in random locations, praying to strike oil, but thankfully now we’re much more sophisticated.
Geologists now study aerial photographs to find locations indicating oil well locations. We also use devices called Thumpers, which cause vibrations inside the earth that are then listened to by geophones. Geologists then process that data into dimensional displays showing seismic lines. If they think a place is a good fit, drilling starts
After the well has been drilled, they measure the density, type of rock, and what fluids that rock may contain with a measuring device inserted into the well
If they like what they find, they settle there, if not, they plug the hole and move on
The same thing happens when finding oil underwater. Ships shoot compressed air underwater to create vibrations, while a hydrophone trails the ship to pick up pertinent information

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