Research Paper: Oil and Gas Development

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[. . .] Thus, we cannot exist today without oil and gas. [12: "History of the World Petroleum Industry." The Geology link for the Canadian Oil and Gas Industry. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. . ]

Yet oil and gas processes are damaging to our Earth, or rather the process through which the fuels are turned into usable energy. Furthermore, our dependence upon oil especially is highly criticized because we do not know how much oil Earth still holds. According to the CGS,

"since virtually no petroleum is found in rocks younger than one to two million years old, geologists infer that the process is comparatively slow (in human terms). Even if it [takes] only a few tens of thousands of years […] the world's oil and gas resources are being used up much faster than significant new supplies can be produced by geologic processes. Therefore, oil and natural gas are considered nonrenewable energy sources."

It is thus, quite scary to think that we will run out of the things that we need most for survival, which explains the scramble for renewable energy resources, sun as solar power. Oil and gas development are complex processes, and many documents have been written to cover their development, whether onshore or offshore. The next section is vital in illustrating the necessary tools, whether financial or otherwise, to keep oil and gas extraction feasible and pertinent to our daily lives today. [13: World Bank Group. "Oil and Gas Development (Onshore)." Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook. July 1998. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. .]

Development Process Today

The last section of this study will thus cover the development process of oil and gas, how it has been affected by humans and how it affects humankind. This process is covered as part of a study in the Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP Project. According to the study within this project, development happens in four stages: exploration, well development, production and site abandonment.

The first part of this four-step process, exploration, refers to the search for those rock formations that can lead to association with oil or natural gas deposits. This first step involves prospecting and exploratory drilling. The second step, well development, occurs after exploration has located a financially profitable field, and involves construction of wells.

The third part, which is the most important part and the reason for oil and gas exploration, is the production process. This process involves "extracting the hydrocarbons and separating the mixture of liquid hydrocarbons, gas, water, and solids, removing the constituents that are non-saleable, and selling the liquid hydrocarbons and gas." These extraction sites handle crude oil from more than one well, which is almost always processed at a refinery, whereas natural gas will be processed to remove impurities in the field, or at a processing plant for natural gas. [14: "The Development Process." Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP Project-University of Colorado Law School. 2011. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. . ]

The last stage, site abandonment, means just that. The oil has been extracted, the gas has been extracted and purified, and the site is considered economically viable no longer, and thus abandoned. Decommissioning and rehabilitation are also included in this last stage, and can take anywhere from 20 -- 40 years. Thus, this last stage will involve removal of buildings, equipment, restoration of site to, hopefully, environmentally sound conditions (and this has been stressed more recently), implementation of sound revegetation measures, and continued monitoring to ensure these processes will take place in a healthy way after closure. [15: "Overview of the oil and gas exploration and production process." Environmental Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. < >. ]

Oil and gas industries also comprise upstream and downstream exploration. The upstream process includes exploration and production and the downstream refers to refining crude oil and gas, distribution of the two and marketing. Some companies may be "fully integrated," meaning they have capabilities for both upstream and downstream interests; others only concentrate on exploration and production and are known as E&P companies. Furthermore, many companies operate nationally and internationally, while others are "independent." This short description of the oil and gas development process is very important because it can show how two natural fuels found in the Earth are utilized to improve our daily lives, for others' financial gain, of course. [16: "Overview of the oil and gas exploration and production process." Environmental Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. < >. ]


This paper has focused upon the development of the two fuels in the Earth's early history and has discussed oil and gas development, complete with how this development process took place, what factors contributed to it and how long it took. Furthermore, the paper has also analyzed the impact of oil and gas towards humanity and the complex process through which these resources are handled today, thus placing This paper's aim in a larger context and showing the importance of this study. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Paper:

APA Format

Oil and Gas Development.  (2011, April 19).  Retrieved July 17, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Oil and Gas Development."  19 April 2011.  Web.  17 July 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Oil and Gas Development."  April 19, 2011.  Accessed July 17, 2019.