The Process of Oil and Gas Exploration
After acquiring the required licences, an oil and gas company can begin the process of exploration. The process involves the identification of hydrocarbon resources and their estimations. Depending on the type of resource, oil and gas companies may decide to move on to the next stage of exploration or prospecting. Other oil and gas companies will sell abandoned fields to smaller private companies with lower production costs and higher returns. State-owned companies may also purchase fields.
The goal of exploration is to find a viable oil or gas field by performing subsurface and seismic surveys. These surveys are followed by drilling exploratory wells to confirm the presence of oil or gas. Afterwards, appraisal wells are drilled to evaluate the size of the field and reserve. After a company has identified the most promising field, the next step is to start a production well to extract the oil or gas. Production facilities are established to process the oil or gas.
The oil and gas industry must take many other factors into account when deciding whether to drill for oil or gas. In addition to the cost of drilling for oil, it could also endanger migratory animals and disturb habitat. For instance, 17% of the gorilla population is protected in Africa. But logging companies have already encroached on the gorillas’ territory. And offshore oil exploration and production can damage fisheries, wildlife and the cultural livelihoods of indigenous people in Arctic regions.
Oil and gas exploration is a highly technical process that can involve various methods. The primary stage is called the search and exploration stage. During this phase, geologists search for hydrocarbons in rock formations. In some cases, geologists conduct land surveys to identify the most promising areas for drilling. Geologists study layers of sediment in the soil and rock formations. Once a certain number of hydrocarbons has been identified, test drilling can begin.
Natural gas is associated with oil deposits. The oil deposits are typically buried one to two miles beneath the earth’s crust. Deeper deposits are typically pure methane. Using high-pressure fluids, oil and gas can be extracted from these deposits. In some instances, oil and natural gas are discovered in less conventional formations. For example, a natural gas reservoir may be found in a layer of rock called a shale.
Oil and gas exploration and development often threaten ecosystems and wildlife. Exploration and development can disrupt migratory pathways and damage important habitats for sea mammals and birds. And even oil spills can be devastating to ecosystems and humans. While the costs of oil and gas exploration are often high, it is well worth it to protect the environment. It is one of the most popular forms of exploration in the world. While it’s exciting and lucrative, there are a lot of risks associated with oil and gas exploration.
There are certain conditions that must be met for oil and gas exploration and production. Exploration permits are usually issued for a maximum area of 12,500 square kilometres, and can be renewed for a maximum of five years. Permit holders are required to give landowners 21 days’ notice before they begin their exploration activities. These conditions include providing an approved operation plan, proof of insurance, and a rehabilitation bond. And, a petroleum exploration and production permit holder must follow the requirements stipulated by the Petroleum Act.