How Companies Explore for Oil and Gas

Driving down the highway in rural parts of the country allows one to spot oil rigs pumping up and down. How do companies handle oil and gas exploration to find the best spot to drill? Here’s a brief rundown of the process.


Companies survey the land to see what the potential is for oil and gas beneath the ground. Common techniques include explosives, compressed-air guns and thumper trucks to create a shock wave. The vibrations sent back to reflect the density of the ground they traveled through and are interpreted by a seismologist.


Once oil and gas are determined to be in a specific location, more work is done to determine environmental impacts and set boundaries for the drilling area. A nearby water source is essential to the drilling operation. A crew comes in and builds access roads then levels the land needing clearing.


There are many legal issues that may crop up from the survey through the actual drilling for oil and gas. The experts at U.S. Risk programs list common liabilities surrounding vehicle use, pollution, contracts, injuries, and negligence. Any of these issues can result in a lawsuit.
Oil and gas exploration is only the beginning of the process of drilling for oil. Protecting the time and money spent in contracting the mineral rights to drill and then obtaining the oil is crucial to the business.