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From Drilling To Mixing - How Does An Oil & Gas Company Work?

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By Author: JJ Tamez
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The oil and gas industry works in one of the most challenging environments. The company works in an open sky, be it land, desert or water, the working team of the industry has to be ready to work in any environment. From the earth's crust, crude oil and gas are extracted by using advanced technology. The industry plays a significant role in the economy of a country. Most oil & gas companies in the USA are listed on the stock exchange. They are million-dollar organizations.

Work Process

The work process involves drilling, exploration, extraction, upgrading, refining, transporting and marketing oil products.


Drilling

Depending on the depth of drilling and the type of method used for drilling, the time of drilling is decided and start the production. Drilling has two parts- pre-drilling and drilling.

The longest and most expensive phase is pre-drilling. It involves all the things that an oil company do before starting drilling. The time period of pre-drilling may take 6 months to one year. It includes a survey of the drilling site, getting mineral rights of the land, getting permits and creating infrastructure like roads to the site, electricity and installing all necessary equipment. The last activity is mapping out the boundaries of the well.

Drilling has two phases, drilling below the water table and then encasing the well with cement rings to prevent soil and water contamination. It is also to prevent oil from contamination. Often horizontal drilling is practiced instead of standard vertical drilling. Horizontal drilling allows oil producers to extract four times more oil than the vertical drilling which is also known as conventional drilling.

Mixing

A mixing plant in oilfield industry plays an important role during exploration, extraction, upgrading, refining, transporting and marketing of oil products. During drilling an oil and gas well, drilling fluid is applied. The fluid is the mixture of a stabilized water-in-oil emulsion and clay. Mixing is used to control sludge accumulation in crude oil storage tanks. Such tanks have a certain amount of sludge and water. Since the sludge is heavier than oil, it settles at the tank floor. Poor mixers and low ambient temperatures can cause excessive sludge accumulation. Once the sludge settles down on the tank floor it becomes hard to remove.

Mixing is also used in unit processes of gas treating, extracting, upgrading and refining. Natural gas has both CO2 and SO2 which make the gas unsuitable to use directly as fuel gas. With the help of conventional processes, CO2 and SO2 are absorbed.

During desalting the crude oil, a mixing procedure is performed. Desalting is the process of removing salt from the oil before sending it to downstream units. By mixing a demulsifier in the pipe by emulsifying freshwater, salt is separated from the oil. Over mixing is restricted because it can lead to poor separation. At the same time, poor mixing is also restricted because it cannot extract salt from the oil.

Work process of getting top quality crude oil and gas is always challenging. The oil and gas industry is operated by experts to provide the best quality of fossil oil.

More About the Author

JJ Tamez is an author who associated with J&J Tamez LLC

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