If petroleum engineers and drilling contractors are the hands and eyes of the operation, petroleum geologists are definitely the brain.
They have four major aspects of the job, which I’ve listed below
- Scouting for a promising drill site
- Selling their findings to potential investors
- Monitoring the drilling
- Completing the well
Most of their work revolves around scouting for a drill site. They spend 90 percent of the job at their desk, looking over electric logs, scout tickets, drilling records, core records, and a ton of other data.
They then take that mountain of data and construct contour maps–taking into account the composition of the rocks, the projected porosity of the “pay zone,” and a variety of other things.
When they find a promising new area, they’ll double check to make sure the spot wasn’t previously drilled, and then they’ll get ready to sell their findings.
Petroleum Geologists run into a dilemma here, as they have to act like a salesman in this stage. They have to be compelling while also presenting their case in such a way that non-geologists can understand. These people could be oil and gas investors, bankers, engineers, or managers.
Once the findings are sold, petroleum geologists pass the ball to the drilling contractors. The geologists are simply there to monitor all aspects of the drilling as it takes place.
The last part, completing the well, is in the hands of the petroleum engineer. However, the petroleum geologist is also there to help advise the petroleum engineer about anything they need.
This is a very quick look inside the interesting world of petroleum geologists–the actual brains behind finding a “pay site.”