Many people tend to believe oil is found in large pools beneath the earth’s crust. The fact of the matter is that this is a fairy tale.
So, Where is Oil Found?
Oil is found in rock formations deposited in layers under the earth’s surface. Different formations have different reservoir characteristics that allow the oil to be captured with widely varying degrees of saturation and reservoir characteristics. In order to oil to be found, hydrocarbons must be present.
What are Hydrocarbons?
Hydrocarbons are comprised solely of hydrogen and carbon. These organic compounds are essentially crude oil and natural gas that are our primary energy source.
Hydrocarbons originate from organic matter. Most come from plant material and plankton that millions of years ago were found in vast bodies of water that covered our planet. As the oceans and seas receded, sand, silt and clay grains were eroded from land surfaces, and mixed with the organic matter. A short time later, this matter was carried and deposited in sedimentary layers of rock formed by the various grains and chemicals in the water.
These sedimentary layers have folded or faulted causing pockets that have held the organic matter and thanks to the heat of the earth and lack of oxygen, evolved into the oil and gas fields we have today.
Can all Oil and Gas be Extracted?
For the oil or gas to pass through the rock, the rock must have porosity and permeability, or space between the molecules of rock. For the hydrocarbons to be present in the rock, it must be connected to a source rock and have a trapping mechanism like a fault, impermeable rock formation above, and possibly even porosity and permeability pinch outs.
Lastly, the hydrocarbons must be present in sufficient quantities to be economical to drill for.
Even though oil is not found in pools, there are parts of the world where the fairy tale isn’t far from the truth, for example in the Middle East. Production from many of the fields there dwarfs our domestic production on a well by well basis due to the exceptional reservoir characteristics for the recovery of the commodity.
If you have oil located on your property and want to reap the benefits without having to jump through hoops, contact us. We can help you sell your mineral rights today.