Did you know that the United States oil industry is worth an estimated $193 billion? We rely on crude oil for everything from transportation fuel to heating and electricity.

But, have you ever wondered how we get oil out of the earth?

image - The Science Behind Oil Wells

The Science Behind Oil Wells

The answer lies in drilling techniques known as oil wells. If you want an answer to the question ‘how does an oil well work?’, then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this extraction method. Let’s get started!

How Does an Oil Well Work?

To access the fossil fuel found in an oil well workers must first dig into the earth using a drilling rig.

A bore is used to open up a hole that can be anywhere between six inches to three feet wide.

Once a hole is drilled, casings are placed on the side to insulate the passageway. Once the hole is made an oil pump is placed on the top of the well.

This pump pushes a vertical rod into the well which connects to a bridle at the top of the oil pump.

This rod redirects force along the walking beam. The whole machine is powered by the prime mover that brings the oil up and redirects it off to the side of the pump.

In the past, this method of extracting oil was fragile, expensive, and inefficient. However, the introduction of new technology, like well servicing engines, has greatly improved these areas.

If you want to learn more about this new type of advancement, then make sure to check out this article.

Different Types of Oil Well Drilling

There are two main ways that people drill for oil these days: horizontal drilling and fracking.

Horizontal drilling uses a J-shaped pattern to bring up the oil sideways in relation to the ground.

Fracking, on the other hand, uses highly pressurized fluid to extract oil from previously tapped oil wells.

Unfortunately, the fluid remains in the earth which can raise some ecological concerns.


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Average Lifespan of an Oil Well

The lifespan of an oil well depends on a variety of factors, like the size, rate of extraction, and method of extraction.

However, it’s generally agreed that most wells can handle between twenty to forty years of major oil production before they run dry.

However, if the oil well isn’t being used at the maximum possible rate, then it can last much longer. Some active wells have been going for over one hundred years.

Want More Content? Keep Exploring

We hope this article helped you answer the question, how does an oil well work? As you can see, oil wells today use cutting-edge technology to ensure that the extractions are as efficient as possible.

That way, we can continue to use oil for as long as possible. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find more topics that you’re sure to love.