In this lesson, you will explore how geoscientists use tools, such as technology and computer modeling, to find hidden pockets of oil and natural gas below the earth’s surface. You will use the online resource, The Story of Oil and Natural Gas, found on the Exploring for Oil and Natural Gas esheet. After the introductory movie, go to “Exploration.” Go through each portion of the “Exploration” section and answer the questions on this sheet.
How is science involved in the exploration for oil and natural gas?
How is technology involved in this exploration?
The Big Squeeze
How did oil and natural gas begin?
Briefly explain the role of sedimentation and dead organisms in producing oil and natural gas.
Why do oil and natural gas move upwards towards the surface?
Describe the difference between reservoir rocks and impermeable rocks with respect to the movement of fluids and gases.
In some places on earth, oil seeps through the surface while in other places, it is trapped below the surface. Explain how the rocks below the surface of the earth cause this difference to occur.
Knowing Where to Drill
Through what type of rock are geoscientists trying to access oil and natural gas today?
How do geoscientists use sound waves on the ground to locate oil and natural gas trapped below the surface of the earth?
How do geoscientists use sound waves to locate oil and natural gas trapped beneath the seafloor?
How do geoscientists use computer modeling with the data gathered through sound waves?
What are the three dimensions referred to in the term “3D”?
What is the fourth dimension referred to in the term “4D”?
Why is the fourth dimension important in mapping oil and natural gas?
Why are “virtual drilling” and visualization rooms so important to geoscientists?
What is an exploratory well?
When is an exploratory well drilled?
Once an exploratory well finds oil or natural gas, what are the four aspects that geologists must consider before recommending additional wells for production to occur?
What happens if an exploratory well finds little or no oil or natural gas?