Different industrial drilling techniques are used to recover different types of oil. Conventional oil is extracted with traditional methods: a vertical wellbore is drilled above a deposit, allowing the hydrocarbons to easily flow up from it since they’re liquid under normal conditions.
Key fact: The highest reported number of producing wells in the US was 1,029,700 in 2014. By 2019, this number fell to 969,140
Unconventional oil, including shale oil and oil sands, relies on complex extraction techniques because it’s too heavy to flow on its own. One technique is horizontal drilling, wherein wells are drilled at 90 degrees and steered horizontally to maximise production from the oil reserve. Hydraulic fracturing is also used to stimulate the well and enable the oil to flow upwards.
Increases oil production
Reduces pressure of underground oil reservoirs
Reduces the amount of hydrocarbon seepage
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