Many investors dream of striking oil, especially as we see oil prices continue to clime. Weatherby Energy has the skills and knowledge to make finding and drilling for oil not a dream but a reality. Investors with Weatherby Energy benefit from the company’s knowledge and expertise in the oil drilling industry and for those interested in learning more about what Weatherby Energy does and how finding oil works, this overview of the process of finding oil can give you some insight into this exciting field.
The Science of Finding Oil
Petroleum geology is the science behind the quest for oil and a science that Weatherby Energy knows well. Petroleum is found in liquid, gas, and solid to semi-solid forms: crude oil, natural gas, asphalt, and tar. By studying rocks and formations, petroleum geologists know that certain factors must be present for a geological area to be a source of petroleum.
- The first factor is the presence of source rock. That is rock that has a high percentage of kerogen, the organic matter that becomes petroleum after exposure to high temperatures and pressures.
- Second, the hydrocarbons have to move towards the surface. If they make it to the surface, they seep out onto the land. This migration occurs because of buoyancy and density of the petroleum.
- Next, there needs to be a reservoir rock where the hydrocarbons will congregate. This is usually limestone or sandstone and needs to be porous enough to allow the petroleum to leave during the production of the well.
- Since the petroleum is buoyant, there needs to be a trap that will keep them in the reservoir, like a fault block.
- Lastly, there needs to be a rock formation that will seal off the petroleum, keeping it from reaching the surface.
Those five factors are what geologists are looking for to turn their prospect into a viable, producing well. Since geologists study rocks, petroleum geologists know that sedimentary rock from the floor of the ocean and lakes is the most abundant source of petroleum.
Most of the organic matter that has changed into hydrocarbons started out as algae. As layers of sediment were added to the existing sediment, the temperature and pressure increased until the kerogen was transformed into petroleum.
Seismic Data and Finding Oil
Petroleum geologists study the surface of potential prospects and examine aerial surveys of the land. One of their major tools in exploration, and a tool used by Weatherby Energy, is the collection of seismic data. This is now done with 3-D computer models that show the land formations accurately. There is even 4-D seismic data, which is 3-D data taken over a period of time.
To record seismic data, you need something to make a shock wave, like an explosion or a vibrator truck. Then you need geophones on the surface to measure how much and for how long the earth moves. When the shock waves are produced, they travel through the earth. They pass through some materials and bounce off of others. The geophones measure the waves that have bounced off of certain rock formations and traveled to the surface. These measurements will show the composition of the rock, any faults or cracks in it, viscosity, permeability, and whether the liquid in the rock is oil or water.
Improvements in technology are greatly increasing the outcome of drilling for petroleum. There is now more than a 50 percent chance that a drilling operation will yield good results as long as the drillers have expertise in the field. Investors can rest assured that Weatherby Energy has the knowledge and expertise needed to increase the chances of success.