Terminology Series   D

If you're new to energy or are contemplating a career in this space, our "Oil & Gas Terminology Series" will help you learn a bit more about some of the industry's technical jargon. 

This week, we’re focusing on the letter "D", and a handful of keywords associated with drilling and downstream.

Derrick: a tower-like structure where drilling controls and lifting equipment are typically housed

Development well: a well drilled in a proven area of an oil or gas reservoir with the goal of maximising economic production and recovery of reservoirs known reserves. They are typically drilled to the depth of a stratigraphic horizon that is known to be productive. The probability of success increases as more development wells are drilled. Development wells differ to exploratory wells as they are wider in diameter and drill deeper.

Discovery: when a petroleum accumulation is found following several exploratory wells. Testing, sampling and/or logging the existence of a significant quantity of potentially moveable hydrocarbons must take place before a discovery can be declared.

Downhole: tools, instruments and equipment used in the wellbore or techniques applying to the wellbore.

Downstream:  this term indicates the refining of petroleum crude oil or the processing of natural gas as well as the marketing and distribution sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Drill mud: drilling fluid that is used to clean and lubricate equipment during the drilling process as well as recover samples of the sub-surface formations to surface whilst counteracting the natural pressure of a formation. 

Drilling rig: a drilling component that isn’t permanently fixed to the seabed. For example, a drillship or a jack-up unit. The term ‘drilling rig’ also can refer to the derrick and its associated machinery. Although this term is usually used in offshore activities, you may also hear it during discussions of onshore for land-based drilling activities.

Dry gas: natural gas composed mostly of methane. It can have minor amounts of ethane, butane and propane and, generally, has little or no heavier hydrocarbons.

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