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Extraction of Hydrocarbons

Extraction involves the exploration and production of natural gas and oil deposits. It’s an upstream activity that utilises well drilling to access reserves, determine their economic potential, and extract hydrocarbons.

There are several steps involved in oil extraction. First, the rig site is developed. Next, a wellbore is drilled underground or beneath the seabed to access trapped hydrocarbons.

The third step involves the removal of the drill pipe and the insertion of a steel well casing into the wellbore. This is cemented in place to ensure the well walls don’t collapse, and to prevent contamination of the oil stream.

Key fact: The revenues for oil and gas drilling were $2.1 trillion in 2021

Next is well completion, which involves stimulating the well so that it can produce hydrocarbons. There are three categories of well completion: open hole completions, liner completions, and perforated casing completions. Stimulation techniques include fracking and acidizing.

Once the natural gas and oil deposits have been freed, they flow up from the wellbore, and production can begin. The final step in extraction is well abandonment and land restoration.

Benefits

  • Reduces pressure of oil reserves

  • Minimises seepage of hydrocarbons into oceans

  • Obtains essential sources of energy

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