Huge investments
are required
Chapter 2 . Finding Oil (Upstream)
Finding underground oil reservoirs
and drilling wells are risky, complicated and expensive
activities. The cost of drilling an exploratory oil well can be
anything from $1 million to $35 million.
Building and developing a well depends on many factors: the location of the
potential oil field (if it is on land or under water), the size of the oil
field, the amount of information that is already available
and the type of rocks found underground.
That is why an important
first step before drilling a well is to obtain
information about what is going on thousands of
metres below the surface of the Earth. This requires
careful exploration and mapping of the ‘sub-surfaces’ in
order to locate the exact type of rocks that tend to
have oil deposits. All this requires investments
in the latest geographic and seismic
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