As we have so many oil mines around the world, how large are these

  • Thread starter Grimoutlook
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In summary: I'm not going to say it couldn't happen, but that it would be very unlikelyIn summary, oil is not typically found in caverns but rather within the pores of rock. When oil is extracted, it can cause subsidence of the surface due to a decrease in fluid pressure. To combat this, fluids such as water can be pumped back into the rock to maintain pressure and prevent subsidence. This has been observed in both oil and solid material mining. Off-shore drilling may be a safer option to prevent subsidence on land.
  • #1
As we have so many oil mines around the world, how large are these holes left behind, and what is put in place of the oil that is taken out. wouldn't the pressure be different? and what would happen if a oil cavern collapsed?
 
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  • #2


in pretty much all cases, that I'm aware of, the oil isn't in caverns. :)
its within the pores of the rock. It accumulates at the top of folds of rock layers called anticlines.

Dave
 
  • #3


Ok I understand that, but these pores within these rocks have to be large and if oil miners are pumping steam into these pores wouldn't that leave for lack of a better word holes? I guess what I'm getting at is possible collapses with the tectonic plates constantly moving. it's hard to believe not a one crack or shift hasn't happened.
 
  • #4
To the OP. Apparently this is a VERY uncommon occurence, but has happened.
From: http://Earth'sci.org/processes/struct/subside/subsidence.htm


Oil & Gas
Oil and Natural gas are both fluids that can exist in the pore spaces and fractures of rock, just like water. When oil and natural gas are withdrawn from regions in the Earth near the surface, fluid pressure provided by these fluids is reduced. With a reduction in fluid pressure, the pore spaces begin to close and the sediment may start to compact resulting in subsidence of the surface.

This has occurred recently in the oil fields of southern California. For example, in the Wilmington oil field of Long Beach, California, subsidence was first recognized in 1940 due to withdrawal of oil from the subsurface. The area affected was about 50 km2. Near the center of this area, the surface subsided by up to 9 meters . In 1958 repressurization of the area was attempted by pumping fluids back into the rocks below. By 1962 further subsidence had been greatly reduced, and the area continuing to subside had been reduced to 8 km2. Still, up to this point, very little uplift had occurred to restore the area to its original elevation. This subsidence event has cost over $100 million.
 
  • #5


You are right to consider this question.

As the oil is extracted from a new drilling it goes through several stages.

First the oil flows naturally because although it is contained within the rock pores and other interstices it is unde pressure. Sometimes this pressure can be enormous as has been seen at the recent Horizon disaster.

As the oil flows the pressure decreases and eventually the natural flow ceases. Further extraction can be obtained by pumping out.

In the last few decades it has been possible to obtain more oil by pumping a replacement fluid - water - in.

Whilst I will not pretend this is done for altruistic reasons, it does have the added benefit of reducing or eliminating the reulting subsidance.

As a matter of interest, this effect has also been observed with mining of solid material, where the subsidence has presented a large problem. In some places concrete has been pumped into fill the voids, even yars or centuries after the mining has finished.
 
  • #6


Sounds like another good reason to drill off-shore. If a section of ocean floor subsided by a few meters I can't think of any reason anybody would care
 
  • #7


mrspeedybob said:
Sounds like another good reason to drill off-shore. If a section of ocean floor subsided by a few meters I can't think of any reason anybody would care

That's a great point in and of itself. Though I am somewhat sceptical of continued off-shore drilling these days.
Even still, I think your right.
 

1. What is the total amount of oil reserves in the world?

The total amount of oil reserves in the world is estimated to be around 1.73 trillion barrels according to a 2021 report by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

2. Which country has the largest oil reserves?

Saudi Arabia currently has the largest oil reserves in the world, with an estimated 266.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2021.

3. How much oil is extracted daily from these oil mines?

The global oil production in 2020 was approximately 92.4 million barrels per day, with the top oil-producing countries being the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

4. Are there any new oil mines being discovered?

Yes, new oil mines are still being discovered around the world, although at a slower rate than in previous decades. In 2021, Guyana and Suriname were found to have significant offshore oil reserves.

5. How long will these oil reserves last at current production rates?

According to current estimates, the world's oil reserves are expected to last for the next 50-70 years, depending on the rate of consumption and discovery of new reserves.

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