geologist in the O&G factor exploring data about formations

How do Geologists Find Oil and Natural Gas?

Gas and oil remain vital sources for powering the world. Global energy consumption has grown at an average rate of 4.7% annually, with fossil fuel consumption crossing nearly 487 exajoules in 2021. However, new oil and gas reserve discovery is decreasing as oil consumption continues to rise despite efforts to adopt renewable energy sources.

Geologists in the O&G sector are finding new reserves and extraction techniques. They require diverse data to locate fossil fuels and explore the formations. Shales in deep environments are typically explored using specialized geology field supplies and techniques. Experts at CNPS highlight a few methods widely used by geologists to locate new gas and oil deposits.

Methods Used to Locate Fossil Fuel Reserves

A geological map is used to extrapolate the rocks exposed at the earth’s surface. Sometimes the deposits can be far beneath the surface as folds and faults. A core is drilled through the surface to get a snapshot of all that exists beneath a certain point.

Geologists sometimes drill various cores miles apart to correlate the rock units and determine what exists and where beneath the surface. The data and rock formation analysis provide insights into rock orientation that can be helpful in hydrocarbon exploration.

The subsurface can be scanned using seismic prospecting, which involves sending seismic waves or elastic oscillations through the strata that allow the creation of maps of the deposit structures.

Another commonly used technique is known as well logging. It comprises making a detailed record of fluid and rock properties to find hydrocarbon zones in the geological formations crossed by boreholes.

oil field map

Gravity surveys can measure spatial variations in the gravitational field that originate from differences in the sub-surface rock density. Gas and oil-bearing formations have a lower density than their water-containing counterparts, so geologists hunt for abnormally low gravity locations that potentially have fossil fuel reserves.  

Magnetic prospecting is another method to measure the earth’s magnetic field in varying magnetic rock conductivity. Airborne magnetic surveys enable the identification of anticlines—natural geological traps for in-depth hydrocarbon migration.

Geologists also use geochemical prospecting to look for fossil fuel deposits. The analyses of the content of organic matter, dissolved gases, and chemicals in underground water are used in the process. As the deposit approaches, the component concentration in the water increases.

Potential Uncertainties That Impact Operations

All methods used to identify everything going on beneath the earth’s surface come with their limitations. Geologists use technology and tools to put together the puzzle, but they can’t see the complete picture and rely on the information at hand. There’s a high possibility that the information could be incomplete or misleading.

Seismic data and information about the cores allow geologists to identify the seismic reflectors that represent a rock type or surface change with more certainty. Furthermore, core samples and surveys help them get a much bigger picture without requiring further drilling.

Geo-acoustic signals based on three-component measurements can also be used to solve a broad spectrum of problems through the control of gas and oil borehole exploration. The combination of remote sensing data and frequency resonance is also used for the exploration and direct prospecting of fossil fuels and ore minerals.

Additionally, the study of the magnetic features of the formations increases the probability of deep structural forecasts. There’s also the electromagnetic technique with controlled sources to reveal the massif stability indicators or disintegration zones while understanding the reasons for low yields.

geologists on the gas field

The identification of anomalies is easier when different exploration techniques are used. Integrating all the data in one place leads to increased efficiency. Methods like seismic prospecting, drilling, and geologic mapping further help define whether the anomalies are false or real. They also help establish realistic geological models that are safe and productive.

Geological field supplies by companies like CNPS further help maximize the growth and competitiveness of the O&G industry. Geologists in the O&G sector rely on our top-tier sustainable solutions to lessen the environmental effect and costs while improving productivity.

We’re a China-based mud logging equipment manufacturer and fiberglass pipe supplier that offers cutting-edge, quality, and sustainable solutions that meet the rigorous demands of diverse industrial applications.

 Our alloy OCTG, GRE, GRP, RTP, and FRP pipeline systems, GRE casing solutions, fiberglass pipes, and mud logging solutions for oil exploration meet high industry standards and provide excellent performance.

You can set up a consultation with experts at CNPS or give us a call to discuss your business’s unique needs, or check out our solutions and other information available online for added convenience. Our company caters to a global, far-reaching clientele and has helped numerous companies achieve higher efficiency, compliance, and safety standards with its top-notch equipment.

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