Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Discovering Oil Supplies

Remember when Jed Clampett discovered that “bubblin’ crude” on the fanciful Beverly Hillbillies television show in the 1960’s? While being an entertaining show that spawned several spin-off ideas (think Green Acres and Petticoat Junction), it was not, however a realistic portrayal of the way entrepreneurial oil companies such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp locate, acquire, and process the precious oil that is used in so many ways by consumers around the world.

While Jed’s methods of discovery and extraction were luck and his trusty shotgun, most oil companies today use tried and true methods that are quite more technologically advanced, often employing geologists to carry out initial searches. These teams of geologists study landforms, specific types of rocks such as non-magnetic sedimentary rocks that are known to be oil-bearing, and seismic activity can also be a telling way to find much elusive oil deposits. This is not to say that luck was never a part of oil exploration. In fact, in the early days, prospectors simply guessed and dug near known gas and oil seeps (just like Jed) and were often rewarded amply by the black bounty lying beneath the surface. But today, we should understand that exploration is much more scientific, and as a result, much more efficient in locating and exploiting much needed oil reserves.

Once oil is located, legal ownership of the land, right-of way accesses, and the right to drill, must be obtained by lawyers through courtroom proceedings, legal jurisdiction having been determined (often in question with off shore drilling). Oil companies have the best lawyers who use their expertise to help expedite the acquisition process.

Once issues of legality have been decided, large excavation machines must be brought to the site to prepare for drilling. Land must be cleared and roads must be built in order to bring all the necessary equipment to the site before drilling can begin. Companies must be conscious that they are also stewards of the land, protecting the environment around the drill site, following specific guidelines to ensure that the animal population is minimally disturbed and ecologically sensitive areas must be closely monitored to maintain their fragile existence.

Extraction processes have remained mostly constant over the years. Using a large rig system and a drill with bits made of tungsten carbide steel or diamond depending on the rock being cut through, companies penetrate the rock formations, using sophisticated equipment to determine when the proper and final depth has been reached.

Once the well has been dug and reinforced with concrete, a pump is then installed which creates the necessary suction that extracts the oil to the surface. Much has changed since Jed Clampett’s story, but one thing remains the same: Oil is an efficient fuel and a many faceted resource, and we would be hard pressed to replace the many products its exploration and acquisition has a hand in supplying.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit

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