Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Theory Predicts Location Of Oil And Gas Reserves

Date:
October 21, 2007
Source:
University of Stavanger
Summary:
Researchers have developed a theory which can be important for future oil and gas exploration. The Golden Zone is the name of a an underground zone where temperatures range between 60 and 120 C. The name refers to a new discovery that 90 per cent of the world's oil and gas reserves are to be found just there.

Researchers in Stavanger, Norway, have developed a theory which can be important for future oil and gas exploration.

Related Articles


The Golden Zone is the name of a an underground zone where temperatures range between 60 and 120 C. The name refers to a new discovery that 90 per cent of the world's oil and gas reserves are to be found just there.

The theory has been tested and verified against a global database containing 120 000 oil fields under production, This gives geologists a tool that makes it simpler and cheaper to find new offshore oil and gas reserves.

The theory of the Golden Zone has come as a surprise to the petroleum industry. The theory has been developed over a period of ten years by the former senior researcher, now dean, Per Arne Bjørkum at the Faculty of Technology and Science at the University of Stavanger, and the researchers Paul Nadeau and Olav Walderhaug at Statoil.

This tool makes the work easier because the companies can now concentrate their resources on exploration at this temperature range. Outside this interval of 60 to 120 C, particularly above 120 C, the chances of finding oil and gas are much slimmer.

Earlier it was assumed that the formation of oil and gas was related to temperature. The new discovery is that temperature decides where most of the lighter oil and gas is trapped in the reservoirs.

The increase of temperature downward into the reservoirs varies from place to place. Therefore the zone is to be found at different depths. On the Norwegian continental shelf it is located at depths ranging from two to four kilometers, while in other reservoirs it may be found somewhere between one to two km. These are the so-called warm reservoirs. In cold reservoirs the zone is located at about four to eight kilometers down.

The fact that oil and gas coexist within the same temperature zone is a new discovery and a surprise. Gas is formed at higher temperatures than oil. Consequently it has been a standard rule that there should be more gas than oil the deeper one drilled into the reservoir. The reason why this is not the case is covered by the new theory which predicts that both oil and gas escape through fissures formed at 120 C. But nobody had checked it, Bjørkum says.

Obviously it had to be like that according to the new theory, he says.

The hope of finding much more oil the deeper we drilled into the basement of the sedimentary basins, is about to fade. Not everybody likes to hear this because they want to keep up hope. The main theory about the location of oil and gas in reservoirs was developed at the beginning of research more than ten years ago. In our opinion the theory was both complicated and inconsistent. The Golden Zone has been discovered because we now think differently, Bjørkum says.

He adds that there is also a good deal of oil in sediments of temperatures lower than 60 C, but the oil there is heavier and of poorer quality. It is referred to as heavy oil because bacteria eat the lighter and liquid oil components.

Even if the price of oil is now so high that we can produce more heavy oil, there are great environmental problems linked to it. It is difficult to refine, and for the time being there is no treatment capacity. It takes more than ten years to build new refineries.

However, there is enough coal in the world to last for several hundred years of energy consumption. If we can find an efficient and environmentally friendly way of producing oil and gas from coal it could be our way out, Bjørkum adds.

Bjørkum thinks that the greatest challenge just now is to produce enough oil and gas for the next ten years.

Right now the companies do not find enough oil and gas to replace what they produce. During the last 25 years exploration has not managed to match the quantity produced. When exploring it is important to be as realistic as possible. That is why we are depleting our resources and makes it mandatory to extract as much as possible from our finds. In this way we may contribute to postponing the crisis many see coming, and that is also the starting point for research at UiS. The new knowledge concerning the whereabouts of oil and gas makes us more efficient in our exploration than earlier.

Bjørkum thinks that the world may easily find itself in a situation of fighting wars over the access to oil and gas.

The likelihood of war increases if serious shortage comes earlier than the world expects. In that perspective sound knowledge about where oil and gas are located may also contribute to preserving world peace.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Stavanger. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Stavanger. "New Theory Predicts Location Of Oil And Gas Reserves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071020082836.htm>.
University of Stavanger. (2007, October 21). New Theory Predicts Location Of Oil And Gas Reserves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071020082836.htm
University of Stavanger. "New Theory Predicts Location Of Oil And Gas Reserves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071020082836.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins