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Prospecting For Oil & Gas

The New York Times published an article on June 24, 1886 covering oil and gas prospecting,

"A company composed of experienced operators from the oil and gas fields of Western Pennsylvania has leased rights in a large body of land lying along the Delaware River at Dingman's Ferry, 40 miles above Easton, and has entered on the work of prospecting the territory for veins of oil or gas...It has been known since 1854, when the phenomenon was first observed and made a matter of public record by Bishop Potter, of Pennsylvania, then stopping temporarily at Narrowsburg, that jets of natural gas of considerable volume flow out of the earth at a number of points along the Upper Delaware."

Unfortunately, prospecting for oil and gas today involves much more than searching for "bubbling crude".

The Prospecting Process

The process of prospecting for oil and gas can take many paths before a well is ready to be drilled. The broad order of researching and lease activities can be described as follows:

  1. Geological Idea
  2. Preliminary Research
  3. Expanded Prospect Development & Approval
  4. Acquire Leases
  5. Permit, Finance and Drill the Well

Every oil and gas operator who generates prospects will have their own myriad of sub-steps and processes they follow, but all will perform these essential steps along the way.

Click on the links above to learn more about each phase of the prospecting process. The Prospect Development page contains educational animations covering how seismic surveys are conducted and used in oil & gas prospect development.