Essay on the Drilling Phase in Oil and Gas

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Essay on the Drilling Phase in Oil and Gas

Drilling Phase in Oil and Gas

Next to the exploration phase is the drilling phase and it commences when the presence of potential oil and gas reserves is verified in the exploration phase. In this stage, the sedimentary rocks that are found to be rich in hydrocarbons are drilled to produce hydrocarbon fluids from the rocks.

There are various types of drilling procedures and the type of drilling process that needs to be followed depends upon the geological conditions of the prospect region. Offshore drilling differs from onshore drilling in a number of ways.

For instance, in onshore drilling, the drilling platform is positioned to carry out drilling while in onshore drilling barge, submersible drilling or drilling ship is essential to perform drilling activities.

Although not in its raw state, crude oil that is recovered from the earth is beneficial. It necessitates a refining procedure to produce petroleum products that can be used globally.

In addition to the gasoline and jet fuel that power contemporary modes of transportation, petroleum compounds are used to make everything from apparel to furniture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and mechanical parts.


Deep earth drilling is the first step in the procedure. This is accomplished by using a lengthy bit connected to a “drilling string.” The bit has a range of five to fifty inches in diameter. Following each section’s drilling, a steel pipe slightly smaller in diameter than the hole is inserted, and frequently cement is used to fill the space.

This “casing” is used to isolate high-pressure rock sections that may explode if allowed to discharge their pressure and to provide the hole some structural strength.

Unsurprisingly, using a power drill on a piece of wood is not the drilling process. The biggest distinction is that the “mud” in the hole lubricates the bit and aids in moving the fractured rock.

New pipe segments are added to the “string” as the bit descends deeper. Making a connection is the procedure of screwing them onto the top drive at the surface.

The hole must be “finished,” or ready for extraction after it has been drilled. Typically, this entails making a hole in the casing so that gas or oil may enter the tube. To serve as a screen, sand or gravel is frequently placed in the reservoir’s bottommost section.

The rock is subsequently cleaned and fractured using fluids to trigger the release of hydrocarbons. The main reservoir is then completely sealed off and linked to the surface via tubing with a reduced inner diameter.

Important Production Phase

Production is the most crucial stage of drilling, “at least from the drillers’ perspective.” The actual extraction of oil or gas takes place at this time.

For the majority of wells, the reservoir’s internal pressure is sufficient to force the oil or gas to the surface. However, alternative methods, such as pumpjack, are required in more depleted locations.

By minimizing the seepage of hydrocarbons into the seas, drilling can improve the atmospheric and aquatic environment in addition to creating jobs and boosting the global economy.

However, the potential of mishaps and oil leaks during the drilling process outweighs these advantages, which is why control and oversight of drilling activities are crucial.


Instead of dying, a well instead approaches its “economic limit,” or the point at which the oil or gas it produces can no longer support its ongoing operating expenses. In order to keep hydrocarbon reserves isolated from the surface and from water, tubing is taken out and cement is poured.

The pump head is then dug out, removed, and covered with a cap before being buried. There is a lot of potentials for mishaps to occur with so many processes going place down relatively small holes far below the earth’s surface.

Drilling Rig Module

A typical drilling rig module comprises tanks for storing water and fuel, equipment for handling drilling mud, derrick, a mast, cementing equipment, and power generators. In order to maintain the hydrostatic pressure while drilling it is essential to circulate mud and drilling fluids.

Mud and drilling fluids help in maintaining hydrostatic pressure while they also remove the formation cuttings and cool the drilling bits. This stage of production of oil or natural gas entails an immense amount of hazardous waste which is eventually discharged into the atmosphere.

Drilling is basically a continuous process and is usually carried out around the clock. However, the time taken to drill a wellbore depends on the geological conditions and distance of the oil and gas reserves from the surface of the Earth.

Once access to the potential hydrocarbon-bearing formation is achieved well- testing is performed to determine the formation pressure and flow rates. On the basis of the well-testing results, further processes are carried out.

For instance, if the targeted field is deemed to produce commercially feasible quantities of hydrocarbons then a wellhead is installed for production purposes. However, if the well is not expected to produce hydrocarbons at commercial rates, it is sealed and the installation facilities are decommissioned so that the field is restored to its original state.

Exploratory Well

If the exploratory well is deemed to produce a considerable amount of hydrocarbons, further wells are drilled to find out the size and the scope of the field. The wells are mainly drilled to determine the amount of the productive hydrocarbon reserves known as appraisal wells.

The fundamental aim of drilling appraisal wells is to estimate the extent of reservoir rocks and their nature. The processes involved in drilling appraisal wells are similar to those employed in the drilling of exploration wells.

Details About The Wells

The wells are mainly drilled to determine the amount of the productive hydrocarbon reserves known as appraisal wells. The fundamental aim of drilling appraisal wells is to estimate the extent of reservoir rocks and their nature.

The processes involved in drilling appraisal wells are similar to those employed in the drilling of exploration wells. Due to technological advancements, multiple wells can be drilled from a single point.

With the help of various drilling technologies, wells can also be drilled at an angle from the original drilling point. This allows greater access to the targeted reservoirs and the drillers to attain access to nearby potential reservoir rocks. This technique is known as directional drilling and is widely nowadays since it provides greater access to the wellbore, increases the access time, and reduces the footprints.

Some of the everyday waste produced during the drilling process includes formation cuttings, construction material, non-burnable waste scrap metals, excess drilling chemicals, and simulation and workover fluids. These waste substances extensively contribute to environmental pollution. In fact, inadequate hydrostatic pressures can lead to blowouts that immensely affect the environment.

Economic Benefits

A large number of jobs are created in a variety of industries, including shipping and transportation as well as medical research, as a result of the extraction, refinement, and use of crude oil’s byproducts. As a result, oil drilling has an immediate positive impact on the economy and the creation of jobs.

Oil drilling, for instance, led to the emergence of a new middle class in Russia. If oil drilling operations in Alaska were expanded by the United States, there would be an increase in the number of jobs available as well as a reduction in domestic energy costs because less oil would need to be imported from foreign drilling sites.

Environmental Benefits

Drilling for oil has long-term environmental benefits in addition to immediate economic ones. This is especially true when drilling offshore in coastal areas, where natural oil seepage contributes to more than half of the ocean’s oil pollutants, which release methane gas into the atmosphere and cause oil slicks on the water’s surface that may harm marine life.

Oil drilling lowers the pressure in subterranean oil reserves, which significantly lowers the seepage of hydrocarbons and atmospheric methane gas. Increased drilling activities, according to scientific theory, may continue to improve atmospheric and aquatic conditions.

However, oil drilling is not without risk; oil spills and drilling mishaps may have a disastrous effect on marine life and the livelihoods of coastal residents, and previous oil drilling operations have released significant amounts of carbon dioxide and poisons into the atmosphere.

Oil drilling has advantages that surpass its costs when unconstrained, but with regulation and oversight of oil drilling activities, petroleum corporations can reduce the risk.

Oil Drilling and Pollution

Animals’ homes are destroyed by oil drilling in part because burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which causes global warming and the melting of the ice caps where animals reside.

The quantity of area available for animals to build houses is also reduced as a result of drilling the additional wells required to obtain the oil; as a result, creatures like the polar bear become smaller.

The polar bears’ mating season typically lasts from the months of March until May. Usually, they congregate in areas where seals enjoy themselves. Males are often quite violent during mating, which further wipes off the colony.

The female acquires at least 44,000 pounds during pregnancy since she won’t be able to search for food once the ice breaches. Another reason is that all the wildlife in the Arctic would perish in the event of an oil leak.

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