Sedimentary Rocks and Their Importance
When you think of gas and oil production, you likely do not think of the types of hydrocarbons or sedimentary rocks that are important for oil production. The fact of the matter is that geology plays an important part in the development of hydrocarbons, which are then turned into the oil sources that we use today. Oil and gas companies like Weatherby Energy know the significance behind these different rocks and how much the oil production is dependent on them.
Types of Sedimentary Rocks
There are two classifications of sedimentary rocks that oil developers like Weatherby Energy look for when choosing drilling sites.
• Clastic – these types of rocks are formed during weathering conditions and the breaking up or fragmentation of rocks that already exist. Clastic rocks are broken up into three categories: coarse-grained, medium-grained and fine-grained all of which contain examples of sedimentary material.
• Chemical – Chemical sedimentary rocks are not formed in the typical way like clastic rocks. They are formed as a result of chemistry processes that are why they are sometimes classified as biochemical instead of chemical. Such chemical processes that are responsible for the creation of chemical sedimentary rocks include evaporation of seawater and the deposits that are often left behind by plants and animals.
5 Types of Rocks that are Important
There are five different types of rocks that are known to produce hydrocarbons – the sources of our oil and gas productions – and they are what companies such as Weatherby Energy search for before drilling. These rocks are important to the production of hydrocarbons:
• Sandstone – sandstone is reminiscent of sand and contains approximately 85% quartz if it is not otherwise classified. These types of rocks are known to companies like Weatherby Energy to form reservoirs.
• Limestone – Limestone is a type of carbonate that is known for its high content of the mineral calcite. Weatherby Energy recognizes limestone as a type of sedimentary rock that serves as a reservoir.
• Dolomite – dolomite is another type of carbonate that is known to consist of at least 90% dolomite and less than 10% total of the mineral calcite.
• Shales – matters such as mud, clay and salt form Shale. These types of rocks are not known to form reservoirs unless they have a cracked cap.
• Evaporites – Evaporites are formed from evaporation of minerals such as salt and from salt deposits. Evaporites are not known to form reservoirs. However, because they have the capability of being great end caps for reservoirs, they are important to the production of hydrocarbons.
While it is not common knowledge to mainstream populations just how important these sedimentary rocks are to the production of oil and gas, companies who drill for oil like Weatherby Energy are aware of the geological importance. An area, which is being evaluated for a potential drilling site, will have a full geological analysis of the sedimentary rocks in the area to determine if reservoirs might exist.