Downhole Drilling For Oil and Gas Exploration

By Hopper

The world’s major auto makers and energy producers grudgingly admit that the world will eventually run out of oil, and they have begun research and development with alternative sources and fuels. None of the experiments has led to a major breakthrough, but all of them have shown great promise. Meanwhile, however, the world’s demand for oil increases as emerging nations require more and more fuel to run their burgeoning manufacturing plants.

Because of environmental, economic, and political concerns, oil exploration and new drilling have failed to keep pace with increasing demand. Hence, oil prices rise according to the laws of supply and demand, frequently causing economic turmoil in both the oil- producing and the oil-consuming nations.

Because exploration and drilling require time, money, and extremely sophisticated knowledge and skills, exploration and testing may never catch-up with worldwide oil demand.

The oil and gas exploration process

Geologists have mapped the world’s largest oil reserves, many of which remain undeveloped. In the oil and gas exploration process, developers remain reluctant to drill test wells until geologists assess drilling’s feasibility and practicality. Some sites naturally are better than others, and some, despite their location over huge oil reserves, pose nearly impossible challenges for drillers and developers.

As they narrow the possibilities, geologists study geography, topography, and climate, evaluating ground conditions for drilling. They also supplement their preliminary explorations with ground-penetrating radar, estimating the size and volume of the underground reserves. Geologists also extract and test soil and rock samples, assessing the difficulty of drilling. Using a variety of sophisticated tools and 3D-imaging devices, explorers finally map each promising site in three dimensions, subsequently plotting the ideal path for the drill.

Experts claim a reserve must contain at least 160 million battles of oil to make further exploration and drilling worthwhile. Determining a site’s viability may take up to three years and cost millions of dollars: A single test-well costs more than $2.5(US) million, and explorers usually drill at least four test wells on each site. Explorers average about 50% success. Venture capitalists and oil companies, therefore, wager a great deal on relatively uncertain odds.

Drilling

Perfectly straight, clean and accurate downhole drilling is impossible. In a geological game of “rocks-paper-scissors,” rocks always win. When you loved this article and you want to receive details concerning FMTC Safety please visit our own page. The paper map may plot a perfect path for the “borehole,” but the drill-bit seldom cuts straight into the rock under the influence of gravity alone. Downhole drilling a borehole does not advance as simply as dropping a plumb-line from a stick, because dense, drill-resistant rocks can send the drill careening into the earth at radically oblique angles; or dense rocks simply can shatter the drill bits. Because an observer cannot simply look down into the hole to make certain the drill has remained steadily on course, drillers routinely test their boreholes and continue sampling the rocks and sediment they pull out of the hole.

Most drillers employ “wireline services” to monitor and guide their drilling processes, because wireline services have command of extremely specialized instruments for tracking and adjusting the borehole’s path and dimensions. In addition to maintaining the borehole’s proper path, wireline services measure temperature and pressure well beneath the Earth’s crust, helping drillers adapt to different kinds of resistance, and helping developers anticipate the requirements for pumping oil out of the hole. Wireline consultants frequently stay at a drill site from the drill’s first penetration to production of the oil well’s first barrel.

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