We live in a world where the main resourceis oil. And here it is useless to argue on the fact that the advent of electric vehicles will change something. In addition to the production of gasoline, oil is used in the manufacture of lubricants (including electric vehicles), for heating homes, for autonomous power systems, for the production of consumer goods and much more. All this makes it a very important product and it will remain so for many more years. But, when in the world all the vaults are filled with this “black gold”, prices for it fall and you have to literally persuade buyers to pick it up. All due to the fact that you can’t just turn off the pump until better times and leave oil in the well. But why you can’t do this, we’ll figure it out today.
- 1 How coronavirus affects mining
- 2 How oil is extracted
- 3 Why it is impossible to stop oil production
- 4 What the oil storage tank looks like
- 5 What is the difficulty of oil production
How coronavirus affects mining
Coronavirus adversely affects productionmineral. This is for short. If the answer is more detailed, then we must first imagine what the level of consumption was before global self-isolation and what it has become now.
People almost stopped buying clothes, appliances,accessories and many home goods. Passenger traffic, especially by air and rail, and trips of people in private cars, have significantly decreased. All this led to a very serious reduction in the consumption of fossil raw materials - especially oil.
Oil production is designed for its consumption. So in any production. It makes no sense to produce substantially more than they buy from you. A small stock in the warehouse is needed, but substantial surplus will only be harmful. At a minimum, they need to be stored somewhere, which means paying for storage. Even at your warehouse, this is disadvantageous, since it is easier to lease free space or simply preserve the warehouse and not pay for its provision. So it is with oil storage facilities. Why kill them if you can leave them empty?
A similar situation is with oil production. When it flows from a pipe, its production volume can be slightly regulated, but only up to a point. You cannot completely shut off the feed (below we will analyze why). As a result, storage facilities are overflowing and crude oil has nowhere to store. When everything is completely bad, it comes to the point that even the tankers are full in ports in order to at least somehow drain the surplus. At the same time, nobody buys oil, because no one needs it because of reduced consumption.
How oil is extracted
Before telling why you can’t just shut up a well and stop pumping, it’s worthwhile to tell in a nutshell how the well works and how oil is produced.
It is believed that oil appeared as a result of processes that took place in the bodies of deceased ancient animals under high rock pressure. These rocks were layers of clay, formed over millions of years.
To detect oil, geologists pass throughrocks are ultrasonic pulses and due to the different acoustic properties of these rocks, they can make a picture of what is underground. If they find a layer of oil, the development of the field begins. If there is any doubt that there really is oil, a test shaft is being drilled in order to verify the result.
When the presence of the oil horizon (socalled the rock from which oil is extracted) confirmed, the main mine is being drilled. It can reach several hundred meters in depth. Steel pipes are immersed into it, the diameter of which is less than the diameter of the shaft itself, and concrete is pumped into the resulting cavity between the pipe and the rock under pressure.
Sometimes a pipe stands near the oil rigs, at the end of which a fire burns. So burn the accumulated gas. However, in some fields this gas is collected in tanks.
After that, to the depth of the alleged occurrencea powerful charge is dropped, which explodes and makes perforated holes in the pipe. If everything is done correctly, oil begins to flow through these holes. She does this in three ways.
If you do not complicate, then the first of them is when oil beats fountain due to rock pressure from above. When the pressure drops slightly, a large amount of water is poured into the cavity with oil or into adjacent cavities. As a result, the pressure rises and oil begins to flow again under pressure. True, in this case it must be cleaned of water.
The second method is more familiar. This is when a swinging tower is placed, which, like a hammer, waves up and down. It is driven by electricity and transmits the movement to the pump in the mine. He delivers the oil upstairs.
The third method is also connected with the pump, but in this case it plunges directly to the bottom of the shaft and from there pumps oil up.
The method is selected individually each time. and depends on the characteristics of the mine and the availability of moneyone who develops the field. One thing you need to know for sure. Equipment is very expensive and constantly needs maintenance. The times when it was possible to stick a stick into the ground and from there beat an oil fountain have long passed.
Now we can discuss why the wells cannot simply be closed by turning off the pump and left until everything settles down and it needs to be turned on again.
Why you can not stop oil production
As you understand from the above, pump out oilnot the same as drinking compote through a straw. You need to work hard and invest a lot of money just to start downloading “black gold”.
Now imagine a situation that already nobody buys oil not that for 100 or 50 dollars per barrel, and even for 20 nobody needs it. At this point, many miners begin to give the goods at a loss, realizing that it is so easy for them to profit.
The fact is that the closure of the mine, first of all,It is very expensive. It is necessary not only to close the tap, but to preserve the mine itself. This is a complex process that does not make sense to describe in detail. In short, we can say that it must be concreted to great depths using sophisticated technologies and special equipment. After that, it will have to be practically re-drilled to start working again.
This is already a huge loss and risk of someone re-preserving their mine earlier and intercepting your customers. Nobody wants this.
Suppose you decide to preserve the mine, and your competitors graduated with honors from the Institute of Noble Maidens and in no case will lead your customers away. What else could stop production from stopping?
Firstly, you will immediately break all supply chains. This is a large number of contracts andcontractors, each of which will first have to pay a penalty, and then re-arrange all transportation, transportation and storage. Secondly, equipment in mines and in processing plants will be idle. This may cause it to fail. Manufacturers guarantee the correct operation of the equipment, but not its serviceability during downtime. It is very expensive and no one wants to bring it to the point that it just breaks and you have to buy a new one.
So we think that oil production on Earth is expensive. Perhaps, but on Mars microbes will be engaged in it. Well, at least we’ll save it. Good news?
In addition to all of the above, you will have to fireemployees. There seems to be no problem, but they are. Then they will need to be hired again, but there are very few good specialists and they can be taken away. Even if this does not happen, and they come back, they can lose skills that need to be constantly maintained.
As you can see, the reasons that do not allow justso close the well, a lot. In this case, the saying “The entrance is the ruble, is the best fit.” There is two way out. ” Of course, if you plan to go back to this field.
That is why many small companies owningliterally a couple of towers, during periods of crisis are closed. They simply can not withstand such a load. As a result, the market is redistributed and their wells are taken away by new players or simply large corporations. Law of the jungle - the strongest survives.
Many people think that there is no more oil on the planet. Like, we will suck out everything that is and will walk. This is not true! New deposits will continue to be found. If you are worried about this, subscribe to our news channel. We often talk about minerals.
What does the oil storage tank look like?
Storage of produced oil is done locallymining, and in other places. For this, complexes called oil storage facilities are used. These are large tanks, ranging in volume from several cubic meters to several hundred cubic meters. Tanks are divided into three types: ground, semi-underground and underground. From the name it is clear how they differ.
Oil storage - An industrial facility for the storage of petroleum products and oil. They are transshipment, transshipment and distribution and distribution. Usually represent underground or elevated reservoirs.
It should be understood that oil is not water and justso you can’t pour it into the barrel. It burns, it thickens and it can greatly harm the environment in the event of a leak. Therefore, the most stringent requirements are imposed on storages. From the technical condition of tanks to fire prevention systems.
The first oil storage facility was built by V.G. Shukhov in 1878 as part of the construction of the first Russian oil pipeline. Prior to this, the extracted oil was stored in large open-air ponds.
In addition to the first Russian oil pipeline and oil storage, according to the project of V.G. Shukhov was built the famous Shabolovskaya TV tower.
The new design, which was calledThe Shukhov oil storage facility was made of sheets of steel, the thickness of which decreased to the upper part (the pressure was lower at the bottom). It so happened to make the structure strong and relatively inexpensive. An important fact was that the oil storage was on a sand cushion. This provided him with greater reliability.
The cylindrical oil storage turned out to be verythe right solution in terms of load balancing. The walls were growing from bottom to top. They seemed to be assembled from large welded rings. They fastened to the bottom and roof with squares for greater strength, but there was no heavy load on these places.
Only until 1917, more than 20,000 oil storage facilities were built using Shukhov technology. The main constructive methods are used in the construction of such structures to this day.
What is the difficulty of oil production
As you can see, oil production is not so simpleoccupation. Not only is it expensive to start mining, its completion is also not cheap. And if you add here the costs of equipment and the delivery of raw materials, the complaints of the miners that the price of a barrel fell below thirty dollars no longer seem like a simple whining. At this point, they go almost to zero, and then begin to completely lose.
Over time, the situation will only worsen. Mining will be more expensive, and consumption will fall. Many companies go bankrupt, and we will find a new gold standard. There will be new tycoons, a restructuring of the economy will occur, but that's all later. So far, we still have several decades alone with oil. So - download, gentlemen.