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Exploration Methods for Oil & Gas Extraction

To locate and quantify deposits of hydrocarbons, exploration surveys must be conducted to understand what lies beneath the earth’s surface.

Oil and gas extraction is also extremely dangerous. Before drilling operations can commence, it’s crucial to identify subsurface materials that could cause fires or explosions.

Key fact: Fatality rates for oil and gas workers are seven times higher than any other industry

Wildcat drilling is an exploratory method used to exploit high-risk areas. Seismology studies, like 3D seismic surveys, are also crucial in determining the geological structure of oil reserves, as well as the flow of fluids in a reservoir. These surveys send seismic waves deep into the earth, which then bounce back and are received on geophones.

In offshore exploration, hydrophones are used to receive pulses from echosounders. This determines the depth to the seafloor as well as detects underwater pressure changes.

Exploration methods allow engineers to conduct remote inspections before oil and gas extraction, providing a clear picture of the safety and viability of potential reservoirs.

Key fact: In 2019, exploration in the oil and gas industry uncovered 12.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent


  • Reduces safety risks

  • Quantifies volume of hydrocarbons

  • Facilitates accurate extraction

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