The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Natural gas field

Oil and natural gas are produced by the same geological process: anaerobic decay of organic matter deep under the Earth's surface. As a consequence, oil and natural gas are often found together. In common usage, deposits rich in oil are known as oil fields, and deposits rich in natural gas are called natural gas fields.

In general, organic sediments buried in depths of 1,000 m to 6,000 m (at temperatures of 65 °C to 150 °C) generate oil, while sediments buried deeper and at higher temperatures generate natural gas. The deeper the source, the "drier" the gas (that is, the smaller the proportion of condensates in the gas). Because both oil and natural gas are lighter than water, they tend to rise from their sources until they either seep to the surface or are trapped by a non-permeable layer of rock. They can be extracted from the trap by drilling.

See also


Hyne, Norman J. (2001). Nontechnical guide to petroleum geology, exploration, drilling, and production (2nd ed.). Tulsa, Oklahoma: PennWell Corporation. ISBN 0-87814-823-X

Last updated: 05-07-2005 06:11:56
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04