Offshore Oil Drilling

Top 3 Forms of Drilling

Before the loading and unloading of petroleum products it needs to be drilled

There are multiple types of drilling that can be employed to remove oil and natural gas from the ground below. Here’s a look at some of the most common methods, and how they work.

Land oil rigging
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil Drilling

  • Oil drilling provides a number of jobs and career opportunities to boost the economy
  • Oil drilling has been shown to have environmental benefits for both the atmosphere and surrounding aquatic environments
  • Oil is one of the easiest sources to turn into energy

By the early 21st century, oil drilling had rapidly grown to become one of the most profitable industries on the planet. While the method is considered controversial by environmental protection agencies, oil drilling is considered a highly effective method to remove oil and natural gas from the earth.

Oil drilling actually dates back to 4th century China, but today’s method has been greatly refined using safer and more efficient technology. Sciencing.com describes the process: “The standard oil drilling process is conducted by boring a hole between 5 and 36 inches into the earth. A drill string is used, which is a series of tubes put together that continue to dig deeper until oil is found.”  

The borehole is typically surrounded with cement to prevent the borehole from collapsing. This helps ensure the safety of the drilling operation.

Hydraulic Fracking

Hydraulic Fracking Image

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  • Technology exists to capture any resulting emissions
  • The real process occurs under most groundwater tables, and the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that “There are no proven cases of fracking affecting water.”
  • It’s temporary, and stable, with low water volume requirements.

As a “well stimulation” technique, hydraulic fracking uses water extra natural gas and oil from shale plays. It’s an economic drilling solution, and it’s been around since 1947. Typically just called “fracking”, it’s a method still widely used in America today. In recent years, horizontal drilling and advanced hydraulic equipment have been combined to make it even most effective.

What-Is-Fracking.com describes the process: “Hydraulic fracturing involves safely tapping shale and other tight-rock formations by drilling a mile or more below the surface before gradually turning horizontal and continuing several thousand feet more.”

Because of the “energy revolution” currently taking place in America, the primary reason why fracking is preferred is that it uses safe hydraulics to reduce safety risks and environmental hazards.

Coastal Drilling

  • Self-supporting infrastructure
  • Increased oil production over other methods
  • Very efficient method resulting in lower oil prices

 

Offshore Oil Drilling
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When President Trump made the announcement that he would work to expand coastal drilling efforts, it didn’t come without backlash. However, today’s methods of coastal drilling are considered highly safe, and very effective at collecting oil and natural gas from areas that were previously unreachable.

Offshore drilling operations have been spearheaded by the innovation of companies who have worked to not only take land-based drilling technology into the waters but also found ways to make the process as fast and efficient as possible. Land-drilling is by no means easy, but coastal drilling is even tougher due to the lightless depths and, of course, lack of ground to stabilize equipment and crews on.

“To surmount these obstacles, petroleum companies have invested billions into the development of offshore drilling and offshore oil platforms.”

The HowStuffWorks.com article went on to explain: “The first of these platforms was constructed in 1897 … In 1928, a Texan oilman unveiled the first mobile oil platform for drilling in wetlands. The structure was little more than a barge with a drilling outfit mounted on top, but it set the example for decades of advancements to come.”

Now, offshore drilling operations are a highly precise and technical procedure that must also meet strict environmental protection protocols. They’re also massive, often employing and even housing hundreds of individuals on any given day. The undersea towers go up to 4,000 feet down into the depths of the water. Many of them resemble floating cities due to their sheer size and infrastructure.

Post-Drilling | Transportation

All various forms of drilling require transportation after it is extracted. Each type requires equipment and procedures that are catered to the form of the product. Depending on the location and destination, the product can be transported via tanker car or railcar. Each form requires a loading terminal with platforms, loading arms, monitoring systems and workers that are trained to handle the product properly and safely.

For further information regarding drilling processes and best practices, feel free to contact us.