Oilfield Production involves drilling, fracking, and other methods to extract liquid fuels from the ground. This process is expensive and risky, but lucrative if a large reserve is found.
After the well is drilled, it is put into production using battery tanks, separators, and other equipment to take the liquid to refineries or pipelines for transport to market.
Table of Contents
The exploration phase is the initial stage in oilfield production, where the company seeks out potential sources of natural gas and oil. It involves identifying and mapping geological structures, as well as taking samples of the area’s topography to confirm the presence of hydrocarbons.
Then, a well is drilled to test the exploration findings and determine whether there are enough reserves to be commercially viable. This process can take up to two years, depending on the size of the field.
During the exploratory phase, oil and gas companies expend a lot of money in finding the best locations to drill. However, they also face a lot of complications. For example, some reservoirs may produce more oil or gas than expected, or they may yield a considerable amount of water that must be extracted and separated.
Drilling is a process that enables oil and natural gas to be extracted from the ground. It involves massive equipment, including drill bits, pumps, motors, and drill pipes that are assembled into a large platform commonly known as a drilling rig.
Before any drilling can begin, the rig site must be prepared. This includes arranging access roads, a drilling pad, safety procedures and noise barriers. It also includes planning for electricity, water disposal, and mud pits.
Next, a plan is drawn up to guide the rig’s trajectory. This plans the surface location and end point of the well, the depth to reach, and the target formation.
This plan is called a drilling prognosis and it is used as the basis of a budget for drilling. It also specifies the amount of drilling fluid, expected mud weights and casing program required to reach a desired depth.
Oil fields contain a reservoir of fossil fuel found deep in the rocky strata of the earth. These deposits are often buried beneath an impermeable layer of rock that keeps them intact over time.
The oil and gas are extracted from the field and transported to a refinery or pipeline. They then are sold to other markets.
Integrated oil companies have many divisions that are responsible for infrastructure construction, equipment, and specialized services that are needed to operate an oil field effectively.
A field is typically dotted with many different pieces of extraction equipment, and it may have a variety of pump jacks, oil rigs, or offshore platforms to help get the oil to market.
Getting oil out of the ground requires a lot of technology, and it can be expensive and risky. But if an oil field is found to have a large reserve, the rewards can be great. This is why companies that work in the oil field remain focused on technological development to lower their production costs.
The oilfield’s processing facilities take what comes out of the well(s) and make it sellable. This usually means that the liquids, gas and water are separated and treated, transported to a refinery for further processing, or sold to downstream markets.
Often the process also includes a treatment for produced water, or wastewater, which is corrosive and must be treated in an environmentally safe way. The separations of the three phases – oil, gas and water – are done in mechanical devices called separators.
The oil and gas are transferred by road tanker or rail tanker to an oil refinery. The water can either be kept on site or sent into a pipeline for pickup by truck.