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Oil Well Drilling

In the oil and gas industry, oil well drilling involves boring a hole into the ground until it reaches a petroleum reservoir. This creates a well from which hydrocarbons can be extracted. On offshore oil rigs, well drilling involves boring multiple production wells into the seabed to recover petroleum deposits beneath the ocean floor.

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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