Give definitions to the following terms. Learn them.

seep, mature oil, prospect, recoverable oil, lead, migration, source rock, trap, hydrocarbons in place, seal, reservoir


4. Find English equivalents to the following Russian sentences:

1. Природные проявления нефти и газа указывают на образование углеводородов.

2. Сложная технология помогает обнаружить нефтяные и газовые месторождения и их протяженность.

3. Первоначально районы возможного содержания углеводородов подвергаются гравиметрической и магнитной разведке.

4. Возможные ловушки подвергаются сейсморазведке, которая создает профиль подземной структуры.

5. Разведка нефти и газа – процесс, связанный с большим риском.

6. Чтобы перспективная площадь была результативной, нужны следующие характеристики: материнская порода, миграция, ловушка, покрышка, коллектор.

7. Скважины, имеющие промышленное значение, составляют 40% от всех недавно пробуренных скважин.

5. Answer the following questions:

1. What is the name of the activity that deals with the search for hydrocarbon deposits?

2. What is “petroleum geology’’?

3. Are there visible features that provide evidence of hydrocarbon generation?

4. Why do we need highly sophisticated technology in oil and gas exploration?

5. What exploration methods can you name?

6. Is the seismic survey different from the other two?

7. When is oil exploration well drilled? What for?

8. Can you prove that oil exploration is a high–risk operation?

9. What do smaller companies search for?

10. When does a prospect work?

11. What elements should be present for the prospect to work?

12. When are hydrocarbons formed?

13. Why are hydrocarbons expelled from the source rock?

14. Could you name 3 density related mechanisms?

15. Why do hydrocarbons migrate upwards?

16. Are all hydrocarbons get trapped?

17. Where are they trapped?

18. Why do hydrocarbons staying in traps?

19. Characterize a reservoir rock.

20. What becomes of oil and gas when they are brought to the surface?


6. Learn the following terms and vocabulary:

entrapment [in´træpmənt] улавливание, захват
interpret расшифровывать
gravity meter гравиметр
magnetometer [məɡ´ni:tou´mi:tə] магнитометр
core samples образцы керна
sniffer газоанализатор
seismology [saiz´molədʒi] сейсмология
reflect back отражать
density плотность
hydrophone [´haidrəfoun] гидрофон
seismometer [saiz´momitə] сейсмограф
obtain (v) добывать, приобретать
terrain [´terein] местность; территория, район
measure (v) измерять, мерить; отсчитывать
indicate (v) показывать, указывать
detect (v) замечать, открывать; обнаруживать


Read and translate the text and answer the after-text questions

Finding Oil

The task of finding oil is assigned to geologists, whether employed directly by an oil company or under a contract from a private firm. Their task is to find the right conditions for an oil trap – the right source rock, reservoir rock and entrapment.Many years ago, geologists interpretedsurface features, surface rock and soil types, and, perhaps some small core samples obtainedby shallow drilling. Modern oil geologists also examine surface rocks and terrain, with the additional help of satellite images.

However, they also use a variety of methods to find oil. They can use sensitive gravity meters to measuretiny changes in the Earth’s gravitational field that could indicateflowing oil, as well as sensitive magnetometersto measure tiny changes in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by flowing oil.

They can detectthe smell of hydrocarbons using sensitive electronic noses called sniffers. Finally, and most commonly, they use seismology, creating shock waves that pass through hidden rock layers and interpreting the waves that are reflected backto the surface.

The shock waves travel beneath the surface of the Earth and are reflected back by the various rock layers. The reflections travel at different speeds depending upon the type or density of rock layers through which they must pass. The reflections of the shock waves are detected by sensitive microphones or vibration detectors – hydrophonesover water, seismometersover land. The readings are interpreted by seismologists for signs of oil and gas traps.


(David Lambert “The Field Guide to Geology”,

Cambridge University Press, 1998)


Find the answers to the following questions.

1. What specialists usually find oil?

2. What is their task?

3. What did shallow drilling help the specialists to do?

4. How do modern specialists examine surface rocks?

5. Are there new methods to find oil?

6. What do geologists use them for?

7. What does seismology deal with?

8. What is the aim of shock waves?

9. Do reflections travel at different speeds?

10. What are reflections detected by?

11. Are readings important?




1. Learn the following vocabulary:

1. extract oil добывать нефть

2.establish (v) оценивать, устанавливать

3. refinery [ri´fain(ə)ri] нефтеперерабатывающий завод

4. reserves запасы

5. decrease (v) [di:´kri:s] уменьшать, убывать, понижаться

6. increase (v) [in´kri:s] увеличивать, повышать, усиливать

7. discover (v) обнаруживать, открывать

8. recover (v) получать (керн), добывать (нефть, газ)

9. pump (v\n) качать/насос

10. substance вещество, материя

11. сomposition состав, соединение

12. viable [´vaiəbl] жизнеспособный

13. recovery factor коэффициент нефтеотдачи

14. extract (v) извлекать (нефть, газ или

инструмент из скважины)

15. excess pressure избыточное давление

16. sluggish медлительный, медленный

17. treacle [´tri:kl] вязкая жидкость

18. seam [´si:m] пласт; тонкий слой; прослой

19. large-scale крупномасштабный

20. commercial production промышленная добыча

21. production facilities производственное оборудование

22. trap (pocket) ловушка (для отделения газа от

жидкости или нефти от воды)

23. reservoir [´rezəvwɑ:] пласт-коллектор; пластовый резервуар

24. sufficient [sə´fiʃ(ə)nt] достаточный

25. to force оказывать давление, заставлять

26. to inject нагнетать

27. atmospheric temperature температура воздуха

2. Read the following text and do the exercises:


Discovering new reservesof oil is only the beginning of the story. It's then the job of a new team of economists, scientists and engineers to decide whether – and how – to go into large-scale commercial production.

Once oil or gas have been discovered,it has to be establishedhow much is there, how much can be recovered,what its quality is and how the oil and gas can be transported safely to a refineryor terminal. In other words, is the find economically viable? If so, further wells will have to be drilled and production facilities established.

The recovery factor – the amount of oil that can be economically extracted compared with the total amount estimated to be in the ground – varies widely. Twenty years ago a recovery factor of about 30 per cent was normal. Today the average is about 45 per cent. Improved technology is likely to increasethis further.

Crude oil is found in underground pockets or traps. Gas and water are generally found in the reservoir too – usually under pressure. This pressure is sometimes sufficient to force the oil to the surface of the well unaided and excess pressuremay cause problems.

In the early stages of production an oilfield may have freely flowing wells, but as oil is extracted the pressure decreasesand pumpingmay become necessary. Alternatively, it may be possible to increase the pressure by injecting further gas or water into the edges of the reservoir.

In other cases, the pressure is inadequate from the beginning and pumps at the bottom of wells have to be used. The fluid extracted from the well usually contains oil, gas and water. It has to be processed so that the crude oil and gas can be transported by pipeline or tanker.

Crude oil is a natural substance whose composition varies. Even in the same oilfield, where oil is obtained from different depths, it can vary greatly in compositionand appearance. It may be an almost colourless liquid or a sluggish, black substance, so heavy that it cannot be pumped at atmospheric temperatures. Generally, however, crude oils look rather like thin, brown treacle.

There is no single solution to the problem of getting oil out. Production and transport methods will depend on where the oil is found, and in particular, whether it has been found under the land or under the sea. Obviously, it is a lot harder and more expensive to drill for oil beneath the sea than on land, which is one reason why the majority of the oil that we use is produced onshore.

There are several different types of platform that can be used, depending on the conditions. Usually, the legs of the platform must extend at least 30 metres above the surface of the sea, keeping all equipment well clear of the largest waves. For smaller offshore discoveries it is not usually economic to install a platform. In some cases, floating or underwater production systems controlled remotely have been developed.

Oil is generally produced in places far away from where it is used: in deserts, frozen wastes, jungles or far offshore. A pipeline hundreds of miles long or super-tanker – or both – may be the only way of getting the oil to the refinery where it will be turned into a useable product.

To reach the edges of the reservoir, wells are commonly drilled at an angle. It is now possible drill vertically downwards and then outwards horizontally. This can save a great deal of money, as several wells can be drilled from a single, point and oil extracted from thin seamsof rock.

3. Agree or disagree with the following statements:

1. Crude oil is the only hydrocarbon found in a reservoir.

2. Reservoir pressure causes problems.

3. The fluid extracted from the well usually contains oil.

4. Crude oil is a natural substance whose composition is stable.


4. Answer the following questions:

1. What team is needed to solve the problem of production?

2. Who usually estimates the quality and quantity of oil in a reservoir?

3. What is the reason of an increased recovery factor?

4. Is crude oil the only hydrocarbon found in a reservoir?

5. Does reservoir pressure cause problems?

6. Why is pumping so necessary?

7. What is the way to increase pressure?

8. Does oil in one reservoir differ from that of the other one?

9. What does oil look like?

10. What do production and transport methods depend on?

11. Where is it cheaper to drill oil?

12. What is the only way of getting oil to the recovery? Why?


5. Make your own sentences using the following expressions:

1) production

2) inject

3) production facilities

4) economically viable

5) recovery factor


6. Translate the following sentences into Russian:

1. Сырая нефть находится в подземных ловушках.

2. Давление необходимо, чтобы поднять нефть на поверхность буровой скважины.

3. Как только нефть извлекли, давление уменьшается.

4. Нефть добывается в местах, далеких от мест, где она используется: в пустынях, джунглях, далеко в морях.



(Part I)

1. Words and expressions to be learnt:

1. life жизнь
2. producing well продуктивная скважина
3. barrel=bbl (bbls) баррель=42 (амер.) галлона=158,988 л.
4. to bring (brought, brought) поднимать на поверхность (зд.)
5. to end заканчивать(ся)
6. recovery добыча
7. price цена
8. cost стоимость
9. to vary варьировать, отличаться
10. field месторождение
11. basically главным образом
12. a displacement process процесс замещения
13. to expel itself вытеснять (себя), вытесняться
14. to drop падать
15. marginal production малорентабельное производство, добыча
16. output производительная мощность, зд. добыча
17. steady устойчивый, постоянный
18. yield добыча (зд.)
19. intermittently периодически, с промежутками
20. to allow позволять, давать возможность
21. well bore забой скважины
22. sure уверенный, надежный
23. supply снабжение, запас
24. a displacement agent агент (продукт) замещения
25. fortunately к счастью
26. to occur встречаться, сопровождать(ся)
27. to provide снабжать, обеспечивать
28. a well’s producing life срок продуктивности скважины
29. to abandon ликвидировать
30. flush period (of production) фонтанный период, добыча
31. settled period (of production) период добычи с установившимся дебитом
32. stripper period (of production) малодебитный период добычи
33. to tap вскрывать (пласт)
34. to drive = to expel вытеснять
35. drive режим вытеснения
36. gas cap drive режим газовой шапки
37. dissolved gas drive режим растворенного газа
38. to expend itself израсходовать (ся), вытеснять
39. water drive водонапорный режим пласта
40. surround окружать
41. to tend иметь тенденцию
42. rate темп производства, добычи
43. to reduce сокращаться, падать
44. average средний
45. pump насос, качать насосом


2. Read and translate the following text:



(Part I)

The life of a producing well begins with the first barrel of oil brought to the surface. It ends when the well is abandoned as uneconomical because the cost of producing oil is greater than the price received for it. The life of a well varies greatly from field to field. A small pool may be in production for only a few years, others may produce for 75 years or more.

The recovery of oil is basically a displacement process. Oil does not have the ability to expel itself from the reservoir, but must be moved from the rock formation to the well bore by a displacing agent. Fortunately oil has two natural displacement agents that usually occur with it–gas and water.

The varying pressures and the natural displacement agents provide general basis for different phases that are commonly called: the flush, settled and stripper periods of production.

The flush production is usually the first stage in well’s life though not always. This occurs when the drill taps an oil-bearing formation that has enough natural pressure to enable the petroleum to flow by itself. With variations three types of “drives” can generate this force.

Gas Cap Drive. Often there is a considerable cap of gas tapped above the oil in formation. When the rock is penetrated this gas expands and exerts enough pressure on the oil to move it toward the well bore leading to the surface.

Dissolved Gas Drive. This is similar to a gas cap drive. In some oil accumulations the gas does not form a cap but remains dissolved in the oil. When the formation is opened the gas expands and drives mixture to the surface. In principle, this is similar to the action of gas dissolved in soda pop; gas expands when the bottle is opened.

Water Drive. In many oil reservoirs water is present beneath the oil. In formations thousands of feet deep, the gas, oil and water exist under great pressure. When a drill opens the reservoir, the resulting release of pressure enables the underlying water to drive the oil to the well bore and in some cases, upward to the surface. As the natural water pressure reduces by oil production, water from the surrounding porous rock tends to flow into reduced pressure zone. Thus, water displaces oil and drives it toward the well bore.

The second stage in a well’s life is a settled period of production. The settled production is reached when the initial pressure of a flush well expends itself and the well’s production rate tapers off to a lower average daily flow or a “settled” rate of production. At this point the well is usually put “on pump”. Many wells never flow naturally and must be pumped from the start. Others drop in flow rate shortly after the production begins and become settled early in their lives.

The stripper period of production (the marginal production) exists when a well reaches the point of producing below its “settled” or economic rate. A stripper well is usually an older well which yield 10 barrels of oil a day but is kept in production because its output is steady and the yield is good over a long period of time. A stripper well is generally pumped intermittently allowing time for the oil to accumulate in the well bore.

Today there are nearly 400,000 stripper wells in the country and their slow but sure production gives us one-fifth of the oil supply.


3. Agree or disagree with the following statements:

1. The life of a well is just the same in every oilfield.

2. Oil has three natural displacement agents.

3. The flush production is usually the last stage in well’s life.

4. There are four types of “drives” which can generate the force that enables the petroleum to flow by itself.

5. In many oil reservoirs oil is present beneath the water.

6. Many wells always flow naturally and must not be pumped from the start.

7. A stripper well is usually a new well which yield 1000 barrels of oil a day.


4. Answer the following questions:

1. When does the life of a producing well begin and end?

2. How long may the reservoirs be in production?

3. What kind of a process is the recovery of oil?

4. What are the two natural displacement agents occur with oil?

5. What provides the general basis for different phases in the life of oil well and what are these phases?

6. What does the “flush production” mean?

7. What “drives” generate the force to expel oil to the surface?

8. Can you speak about each “drive” separately?

9. When do we speak that the well reaches its settled period of production?

10. What does the expression “to put the well on a pump” mean?

11. When do we speak that the well reaches its marginal production?

12. In what way are stripper wells pumped?


5. Complete the following sentences:

1. The life of a producing well begins …

2. A small pool may be …

3. Oil does not have the ability …

4. The flush production is usually …

5. When the rock is penetrated …

6. In some oil accumulations …

7. When a drill opens the reservoir …

8. The settled production is reached …

9. The stripper period of production …

10. A stripper well is generally pumped …


6. Give Russian equivalents to the following terms:

1. a producing well

2. uneconomical

3. the cost of a producing well

4. a displacement process

5. the ability to expel itself

6. a displacing agent

7. flush production

8. oil-bearing formation

9. oil accumulations

10. dissolved in the oil

11. beneath the oil

12. release of pressure

13. reduced pressure zone

14. pumped intermittently



(Part II)

1. Words and expressions to be learnt:

1. sufficient - достаточный

2. insufficient - недостаточный

3. to reduce - уменьшать(ся)

4. water flooding [´flʌdiŋ] - закачка воды

5. gas flooding - закачка газа

6. secondary recovery methods - вторичные методы добычи

7. to include - включать (в себя)

8. carefully located - тщательно распланированное


9. auxiliary [ɔ:ɡ´ziljəri] service wells - вспомогательные скважины

10. to permit - позволять, давать возможность

11. pattern - схема, план, сетка

12. essential - существенный, важный

13. to raise - повысить, поднять

14. case - случай

15. permeable [´pə:mjəbl] - проницаемый

16. assist - помогать, помощь

17. enhanced [in´hɑ:nst] oil recovery (EOR) - повышение нефтеотдачи


18. tertiary [´tə:ʃəri] recovery - третичная добыча

19. miscible [´misibl] displacement - вытеснение нагнетанием

смешивающихся с нефтью


20. acid [´æsid] - кислота

21. alkalis [´ælkəlaiz] - алкалоиды

22. to add - добавлять

23. surfactants [sə:´fæktənts] - поверхностно-активные

вещества (ПАВ)

24. considerable - значительный

25. hydrochloric [´haidrəˏklorik] acid - соляная кислота

26. frequently - часто

27. to prevent - предотвращать, мешать

28. reaction rate - скорость реакции

29. pay zone - продуктивная зона

30. to etch out - вытравливать, разъедать

31. tiny - крошечный, мельчайший

32. channel - ход, канал, путь (в породе)

33. well bore - забой скважины

34. mobile [´moubail] - подвижный, мобильный

35. to push - продвигать, выталкивать

36. steam injection - закачка пара (в пласт)

37. fire flooding - поджиг

38. in situ [in´si:tju:] (лат.) - на месте нахождения

39. fracturing - гидроразрыв

40. specially treated fluid - специально (особо)

обработанная жидкость

41. to split - раскалывать, расщеплять

42. fissures [´fiʃəz] - трещины, щели

43. propping agents - расклинивающие агенты (при

гидроразрыве пласта)

44. chemically compounded pellets [´pelits] - таблетки, гранулы

45. walnut shells - ореховая скорлупа


2. Read and translate the following text:


(Part II)

When natural reservoir pressure is insufficient or when it has been reduced by production, oil engineers have learnt to increase the natural pressure. Water and gas flooding are often used as secondary recovery methods. Both methods include drilling, carefully located, auxiliary service wells to permit the most efficient injection pattern. This is essential for the optimum recovery. It should be noted that the applying of the secondary recovery methods permit to raise the extraction to 80 per cent in place. There are cases when some underground formations are not sufficiently permeable or crude oil is too viscous to allow the trapped oil and gas to move toward the well bore. When this happens nature is given a big assist by applying enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods or tertiary processes which may be divided into four groups: chemical, miscible (gas), thermal and exotic.

Various chemicals: acids, polymers, alkalis are added to the injection water in order to improve displacement efficiency when the major part of the oil is not recovered by water-flooding. These chemicals are called surfactants. They are pumped into reservoir and it takes a considerable time to increase the recovery of oil. Hydrochloric acid is frequently used, but in a modified form to keep the well equipment from corrosion, to prevent the acid to form an emulsion with the oil and to control the reaction rate. When the acid reaches the pay zone or production formation it reacts with certain materials in the reservoir rock etching out tiny channels through which oil and gas can flow toward the well bore. Polymers and alkalis make oil more mobile.

Miscible recovery–a fluid (usually a gas) is injected into the well. Then it is mixed with the oil, reduces its viscosity and pushes the oil from the pores to the production well, then to the surface. The most commonly used hydrocarbon gases are methane, propane, butane or carbon dioxide. But the use of such gases gives problems because of corrosion well and production equipment.

The most widely used thermal process is steam injection. Sometimes fire flooding in situ method is applied.

The fourth group processes includes microbial recovery (oil-eating microbes), electrical heating (electrical stimulation of the reservoir), fracturing. All these processes are still at the research. Let’s take, for example, fracturing.

Fracturing opens up underground channels for trapped hydrocarbons but by the force different than chemical reaction. A specially treated fluid is pumped into the producing well under extreme pressure, thus splitting rocks and opening horizontal fissures. Propping agents are added to the fluid–sand, metal or chemically compounded pellets and even walnut shells. When the pressure reduces, these propping agents keep the propped fissures open so that the oil and gas can flow toward the well bore more easily.


3. Answer the questions:

1. When are secondary recovery methods used?

2. What are the most commonly used?

3. What are EOR methods and when are they used?

4. What chemicals are added to improve displacement efficiency?

5. What acid is most frequently used?

6. What is miscible recovery?

7. What thermal process is most widely used?

8. What are the exotic enhanced oil recovery methods?

9. What is fracturing?



1. Words and expressions to be learnt:

1. oil sands нефтеносный песок; нефтеносные породы

2. a pile скопление (песка)

3. to saturate [ˎsætʃə´reit] насыщать, пропитывать

4. to deliver доставлять; нагнетать; перекачивать

5. fluid жидкость; смесь жидкостей и газов

6. drive вытеснение нефти (газом, водой);

пластовый режим

7. to encounter встретить(ся); наталкиваться

8. artificial lift механизированная эксплуатация


9. gravity drive гравитационный режим пласта

10. oil column нефтяной столб (нефтяная часть залежи)

11. dip падение, линия падения пласта (наклон)

12. compaction drive сжатый (уплотненный) режим

13. sediment осадок; нанос; отложение

14. depletion [di´pli:ʃ(ə)n] истощение; исчерпание

15. impact импульс, удар; воздействие; плотно сжимать

16. reduction понижение; ослабление; сокращение

17. gusher фонтанирующая скважина

2. Read and translate the following text:



The term “oil pools” refers to deposits of petroleum as though there were underground lakes of oil. A more accurate term, however, is one that is often used in the petroleum industry: oil sands.

The deposits are, in other words, more often like piles of sand or porous rock that have been saturated with oil. Oil does not really flow rapidly through sand or rock, of course, and so it must be pushed or driven. Natural flow is when the reservoir delivers fluid to the well bore. Sufficient pressure energy is needed to lift the fluid to the surface.

There are three kinds of natural drives, as the forces that push the oil are called. Each drive involves the gas and water that are almost always found with oil.

First is the dissolved-gas drive. Gas is dissolved in the oil. As it expands, it exerts the pressure which pushes the oil through rock or sand. Recovery is slow when this type of drive is encountered.

Second is the gas-cap drive. Gas has not only dissolved in the oil: a large amount of it has formed above the oil. As the gas expands, it pushes the oil through the rock or sand at a more rapid rate than when only dissolved gas is present.

Third is the water drive, in which there is a large amount of water below the oil. Pressure forces the water upward into the oil-bearing rock or sand and moves the oil ahead of it.

If none of these drives is present, the oil must be pumped to the surface. This is more expensive than when natural drives are present, since power for the pumping must be supplied.

Artificial lift– is when insufficient pressure energy exists. In this case the well may require assistance by the application of artificial lift. This provides all or portion of the vertical lift pressure losses.


Gravity driveis less common, although it’s an ideal recovery mechanism. The hydrostatic pressure on the oil column and pressure of the gas cap provide the drive to a producing well system. For this drive to be effective it requires maximum structural dip, low oil viscosity, good vertical and horizontal permeability.

Compaction drive. The oil in the reservoir (pore space) is compressed by the weight of overlying sediments and pressure of the fluid is withdrawn from the reservoir, then the pressure depletion can be compensated by the overlying sediments compacting lower sediments. This impact creates a reduction on porosity and thus a potential compression effect.

Combination drive.The production of fluids in the majority of reservoirs is not controlled by one but often by several drive mechanisms in combination.

In the early days of the oil industry, new wells often came in as gushers. In these wells great underground pressure forced the oil upward without any control, and it was necessary to wait until it dropped enough for the oil to flow at a normal rate before any of it could be recovered. Of course, a great deal of oil wasted when a well gushed in this way.

Today, with the great increase in the price of oil – and therefore the value – great care is taken to prevent gushers. They are indeed quite rare, thanks to the use of modern technology. The petroleum industry today is very much concerned about acquiring the greatest possible amount of oil from each deposit without unnecessary waste.


3. Give synonyms to the following words:

1. oil pools 7. part

2. deposits of petroleum 8. need

3. drive 9. make

4. push through 10. extraction

5. exist 11. uncontrolled pressure well

6. help 12. decrease


4. Define the following terms:

1. drive 5. artificial lift

2. dissolved-gas drive 6. gravity drive

3. gas-cap drive 7. compaction drive

4. water drive 8. combination drive


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