5 Important Innovations in the World of Petroleum Drilling

Drilling for petroleum has been carried out by humans for more than a century and a half. Started by Edwin Drake in 1859 who dug the first oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States. Since then, petroleum has been processed into kerosene which is used for lighting needs.

The rapid advancement of the automobile industry since the early 20th century has encouraged the oil mining industry to also increase. Worldwide production of crude oil around 1990 was 150 million barrels, increasing rapidly to one million barrels in 1925.

The increase in oil production in the world is also supported by innovations in oil drilling technology. One of the oldest and most widely used technology at that time was the Rotary Drill , which was first introduced in 1880. This technology uses a large rotating drill to dig into the ground.

Rotary Drills are just the beginning of various oil drilling technology idnplay poker 99 innovations that have subsequently been created in the 20th century. These innovations increase efficiency in the petroleum production process.

Here are other modern petroleum drilling technologies:

Before offshore drilling was discovered, oil drilling had been carried out on the seashore since 1880. This technology then developed to be able to carry out offshore drilling for the first time in 1947.

Since then this technology has continued to develop, until furthermore adapting the use of remote robotic vehicles for diving needs. This robot technology is an advantage in itself because diving on the seabed is very dangerous if done by humans.

2. Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing technology or commonly known as fracking, succeeded in disrupting the petroleum industry by making prices drop dramatically in the mid-2010s. However, it turns out that this technology has actually begun to be developed in the 1940’s.

This fracking technology makes it possible to more effectively extract petroleum reserves in oil wells that are separated by narrow rock structures. The rock structure has a narrow gap which, if sucked directly using old technology, will not get a fast flow of petroleum.

Hydraulic fracturing uses a mixture of water with certain chemical liquid to be injected with a certain pressure into rock structures that trap oil reserves, thus forming a fraction or a crack ( fracture ) which is hundreds of meters higher. To prevent this fraction from returning to its original position, a liquid propane is used which is a mixture of a special fluid, sand, and pellets. With this, trapped petroleum will be easily pumped to the surface.

3. Seismic Imaging

In the past, finding an oil well was quite simple, only looking for soil that spewed oil bubbles. When it was quite easy to find it because there were still many oil wells close to the ground. But of course this method is very ancient, and cannot be used to find oil reserves that are hidden deep in the ground.

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One innovation that is also very influential in the world of petroleum drilling is the 3-dimensional seismic imaging technology. This technology uses the principle of sound waves reflected by various types of material surfaces in various directions. The sound signal emitted by the source is directed at the target, which is then picked up by a special device called a geophon. With a sophisticated computerized process, the sound reflection can be translated into a 3-dimensional image that represents the target condition. The system will direct the operator of this tool to shift to a certain location where the image has not been captured properly.

However, this 3-dimensional imaging technology actually only reduces the number of initial drills to prove the existence of oil wells only. Because seismic imaging cannot distinguish between petroleum fluids, or other fluids. Further proof is needed by sampling if using the seimic image it is suspected that new oil reserves have been found.

4. Measurement-While-Drilling Technology

Measurement-While-Drilling (MWD) technology seeks to answer the challenge so that when combined with seismic imaging technology it can be more effective. This MWD technology allows operators to get direct information about the drilling they are doing. The information he can get includes temperature, pressure in the soil, density, magnetic resonance generated by the rocks in the drilling area, and so on. This technology is very important, especially for drilling operators, because they can know whether the drilling they are doing is effective and safe from the dangers of explosion and tool damage.

One technology within MWD that may be particularly interesting is the way the sensors, on the tip of the drill, communicate the information they get to the surface. Instead of using cables that cannot be embedded in a giant drill bit, MWD uses the Mud Pulse Telemetry method.

As the name implies, Telemetry Mud Pulse utilizes the pumped downward mud to catch drilling dust. So, when it comes to the special section of the sensor, it is made to form a binary code pulse pattern in the form of sound, which then when captured by the sensor on the surface it will be translated into many functions.

5. Horizontal Drilling

One advantage of MWD technology is the ability of the operator to be able to point the drill tip in any direction according to the data he receives in real-time. And the development of MWD technology is of course the ability to drill horizontally. Horizontal drilling technology is very important because more oil wells, if only mined vertically, are less effective because they require a longer time.

Horizontal drilling technology has actually been around since 1929, but at that time it was still very expensive so it was not economically effective. It was only when MWD technology was discovered in the 1980s that this horizontal drilling technology was increasingly used.