How do oil and gas develop? This chapter describes the scientific process of resource extraction and its production into oil and gas. It also details the five major advances in technology in the sector in the last thirty years. These include: seismic imaging (3D imaging of resource reservoirs); long-reach horizontal drilling (sideways drilling, rather than straight up-and-down drilling); offshore drilling (accessing oil deposits under the ocean floor); smart well (control of production in long-reach horizontal and other wells); and fracking (getting materials from tight, impermeable reservoirs). The last was pionereed by small, independent companies and service companies; the rest were introduced by the major oil companies, working with service companies. Refining has also seen significant technological advances. This chapter also details competition between state-owned resource companies and private, as well as differences in access to capital among different regions, and how these have defined the extractives sector for the past few decades.
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