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Encyclopedia > Oil field
Drilling rig in a small oil fieldNear Sarnia, Ontario, 2001
Drilling rig in a small oil field
Near Sarnia, Ontario, 2001

An oil field is an area with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum (oil) from below ground. Because the oil reservoirs typically extend over a large area, possibly several hundred kilometres across, full exploitation entails multiple wells scattered across the area. In addition, there may be exploratory wells probing the edges, pipelines to transport the oil elsewhere, and support facilities. Drilling a small oil field Image copyleft: Image taken by me, released under GFDL Pollinator 03:50, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC) ( ) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Drilling a small oil field Image copyleft: Image taken by me, released under GFDL Pollinator 03:50, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC) ( ) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Natural gas drilling rig A drilling rig or oil rig is a structure housing equipment used to drill for and extract oil or natural gas from underground reservoirs. ... Sarnia is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada (population 70,876 in 2001). ... An oil well is a laymans term for any perforation through the Earths surface designed to find and release both petroleum oil and gas hydrocarbons. ... Nodding donkey pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario, 2001 Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and oleum – oil), crude oil, sometimes colloquially called black gold, is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ... An oil reservoir is a subsurface body of rock having sufficient porosity and permeability to store and transmit fluids. ... A kilometre (American spelling: kilometer, symbol: km) is a unit of length equal to 1000 metres (from the Greek words khilia = thousand and metro = count/measure). ... For the Scottish football team, see Motherwell F.C. The Whole Earth Lectronic Link (or The WELL) is one of the oldest virtual communities still online. ...


Because an oil field may be remote from civilization, establishing a field is often an extremely complicated exercise in logistics. For instance, workers have to work there for months or years and require housing. In turn, housing and equipment require electricity and water. Pipelines in cold areas may need to be heated. Excess natural gas needs to be burned off if there is no way to make use of it, requiring a furnace and stacks, and pipes to carry it from well to furnace. Inside Nexus Distribution, a United States logistics provider. ... Natural gas (commonly refered to as gas in many countries, but note that this is also American and Canadian slang for gasoline) is a gaseous fossil fuel consisting primarily of methane. ...


Thus, the typical oil field resembles a small self-contained city in the midst of a landscape dotted with drilling rigs and/or the pump jacks known as "nodding donkeys" because of their bobbing arm. Several companies, such as Bechtel, Esso and Halliburton, have organizations that specialize in the large-scale construction of the infrastructure required to operate a field profitably. Natural gas drilling rig A drilling rig or oil rig is a structure housing equipment used to drill for and extract oil or natural gas from underground reservoirs. ... A colourful nodding donkey in the United States A nodding donkey is the overground drive for a submersible pump in a borehole. ... Bechtel Corporation (Bechtel Group) is the largest civil engineering company in the world. ... An Esso Station in Toronto Esso is an international trade name used by ExxonMobil and its related companies. ... Halliburton Energy Services NYSE: HAL is a multinational corporation based in Houston, Texas. ...


More than 40,000 oil fields are scattered around the globe, on land and offshore. The largest are the Ghawar Field in Saudi Arabia and the Burgan Field in Kuwait, with more than 60 billion barrels (10 kmĀ³) estimated in each. Most oil fields are much smaller. According to the US Department of Energy (Energy Information Administration), as of 2003 the US alone had over 30,000 oil fields. Ghawar Field is a large oil field in Saudi Arabia. ... The Burgan Field in the desert of southeastern Kuwait is one of the worlds largest and richest oil fields. ... The word billion and its equivalents in other languages refer to one of two different numbers. ... The barrel is the name of several units of measurement. ...


In the modern age, the location and proven oil reserves of oil fields are a key underlying factor in many geopolitical conflicts. Conflict is a state of opposition, disagreement or incompatibility between two or more people or groups of people, which is sometimes characterised by physical violence. ...


See also


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