An oil well is drilled on the earth for the purpose of bringing petroleum oil hydrocarbons to the surface. Typically, a bit of natural gas and associated petroleum gas is also released in the process, along with the oil. A well that is specifically designed to produce gas, on the other hand, is termed as a gas well. Wells are created by drilling down into a gas or oil reserve that is then mounted with an extraction device. Paul Favret mentions that extraction devices like a pump-jack are commonly used for the extraction from the reserve. Paul has been a part of the oil and gas industry for several years.
Creating oil wells is an extensive and expensive process. The process of modern drilling for wells first began in the 19th century, but became more efficient in the 20th century owing to the advancements made to the drilling rigs. Oil wells can be of several types, which include:
- Exploratory wells: Such wells are drilled into areas where neither gas nor oil has been found previously. At times, exploratory wells are also referred to as “wildcats.” Additionally, the wells that manage to strike oil or gas might be called “discovery wells.” Other exploratory wells, like “appraisal” or “step-out” wells, are drilled for the purpose of determining the limits of a field subsequent to discovery or to search for new gas and oil bearing formation beneath or next to those already known to contain the product. If an exploratory well is found to not contain any gas or oil, or too little to be produced economically, it is called a “dry hole”.
- Developmental wells: Subsequent to its discovery, the area of the reservoir is determined roughly with the assistance of a series of appraisal or step-out wells. Developmental wells are then drilled in order to produce gas and oil. The number of developmental wells to be drilled is ideally determined by the expected definition of the new field, both in productivity and size. Owing to the uncertainty of how reservoirs are confined or shaped, a few developmental wells might turn out to be dry holes. At times, drilling and producing take place simultaneously in these wells.
- Multiple completion wells: A separate string of pipes might be run into a single well for each individual formation while multiple producing formations are discovered when drilling a well. Gas and oil from each formation are directed into its piping and isolated from one another by packers that seal the annular spaces between the casing and the piping string. Such wells are called multiple completion wells.
- Geo-pressure/geothermal wells: Such wells produce extremely high pressure and high temperature water that may contain hydrocarbons. The water becomes a cloud of hot steam that is rapidly expanding, and vapors upon release to the atmosphere from a leak or rupture.
Paul Favret mentions that in addition to the options mentioned above, even stripper wells and injection wells are also quite popular. Through three prior public company purchases, Paul’s company, Resource Energy, gathered a stake in more than 384 wells in its first year.