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Benchmark of the Oil Industry


            Petroleum exploration is a very old pursuit. Herodotus, writing in about 450 B.C., described oil seeps in Carthage (Tunisia) and the Greek island Zachynthus. He gave details of oil extraction from wells near Ardericia in modern Iran, although the wells could not have been very deep, as fluid was extracted in a wine skin on the end of a long pole mounted on a fulcrum. Oil, salt and bitumen were produced simultaneously from these wells. Throughout the first millenium A.C. oil and asphalt were gathered from natural seepages in many parts of the world.The first well specifically sunk to search for oil (as opposed to water or brine) appears to have been at Pechelbronn, France, in 1745. Outcrops of oil sand were noted in this region, and Louis XV granted a license to M. de la Sorbonniere, who sank several borings and buit a refinery in the same year. The birth of the oil shale industry is credited to James Young, who began retorting oil from the Carboniferous shales at Torban, Scotland, in 1847. The first well to actually produce oil was drilled at Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, by Colonel Drake in 1859. 
    Leaving aside atypical enterprises, petroleum exploration now involves integrated teams of people possesing a wide range of professional skills. These skills include political and social expertise, which is involved in the acquisition of prospective acreage. Geophysical surveying is involved in preparing the initial data on which leasing and later, drilling recommendations are based. Geological concepts are applied to the interpretation of the geophysical data once it has been acquired and processed. As soon as an oil well has been drilled by Drilling Engineers (Also part of Petroleum Engineering), the engineering aspects of the discovery need appraisal. Petroleum engineering is concerned with establishing the reserves of the field and the distribution of petroleum within the reservoir (Reservoir Engineering), and the most effective way of producing it (Production Engineering).

| Crude oil | History of Petroleum |

Other Peroleum pages on this site: | Drilling Engineering | Oil mining methods | Well Testing |
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