Energy Excursions

# Geologic Considerations When Drilling a Well

“Take an energy excursion on where to place a well, and what to think about as a geologist prior to drilling, including the geologic risks”

## Summary

This lesson takes into account the geologic considerations prior to and while drilling a well. To be successful, a well must have all of the geologic parameters that come with a successful petroleum system: the processes and elements that lead to oil and gas formation. This includes a source rock where the oil and gas initially formed, a reservoir rock where the oil and gas is now located, and a cap rock/seal that limits further movement of these hydrocarbons. Each component is important to both ensure a successful well and mitigate risks. This lesson will also consider geologic risk and well integrity. Additional subject matter covered includes surface expressions, a geologic challenge, and their associated risks. To further describe surface expressions, this lesson includes a case study on the Cymric Heavy Crude Oil Field located in the San Joaquin Valley in California. The case study includes how the heavy oil is produced through a process known as “cyclic steam injection/stimulation,” the presence of surface expressions as a result, and the regulatory response that followed.

## Learning Outcomes

• Gain an understanding on where to place a well from a geologic standpoint using petroleum systems concepts
• Source Rock
• Reservoir Characterization
• Cap Rock/Seal
• Learn some of the basics regarding subsurface integrity and overburden characterization
• What is subsurface integrity?
• What is overburden characterization?
• Why is risk mitigation important?
• Learn about the Cymric Heavy Crude Oil Field and the risk of surface expressions
• How is the heavy oil produced in the Cymric field?
• What is cyclic steam injection/stimulation?
• How did surface expressions occur in the field?
• What did the regulatory response entail following recognition of surface expressions?
###### College Board Units and Topics
Lesson Content
0% Complete 0/7 Steps