What is oil exploration
2 min read Last modified on:August 23rd, 2021

What is oil exploration ? | Oil Exploration (1)

Extensive steps for oil exploration are given in various sources and references based on different perspectives. By examining these resources, the exploration stages can be summarized from the mapping stage to the extraction of oil and gas resources in the cases of mapping, geology, geochemistry, geophysics, drilling, petrophysics, well testing and reservoir engineering. The following is a brief description of each of the steps.




The purpose of mapping and preparing topographic maps and creating a reference land information system is to prepare the required maps as geological, geophysical and road construction base maps and to create integrated reference land information. The steps of mapping in this step are:

  • Preparation of topographic maps with scale 1: 250000, 1: 50000, 1: 100000, 1: 250000
  • Preparation of topographic maps with a scale of 1: 5000, 1: 2000
  • Creation of geophysical networks
  • Creating a geographic information system (reference land)


One of the most important and basic stages of exploration is geological studies, the purpose of this process is to identify geological structures that are prone to oil and gas storage (trapping). The stages of geological studies are:

  • Collection of available information and maps
  • General geology and planning
  • Stratigraphy
  • Tectonic and structural geology study
  • Underground geology

Geochemical studies

The purpose of geochemical studies is to evaluate the hydrocarbon capacity of rock units as Maternal or source stones have been identified. Geochemical studies Simultaneously or immediately after the end of stratigraphic studies with sampling, experiments and interpretations, the degree of maturity of the source rock in order to produce oil and gas is determined. One of the important steps in geochemical studies is organic petrography.

In organic petrography, microscopic study should be performed by preparing thin sections and polished pellets of organic matter isolated from the samples. At this stage, the type of kergene and consequently their hydrocarbon generation potential are determined. At this stage, the degree of maturity or maturity of organic matter is also determined by reflective light and the index of thermal changes on the tablet sample.

Geophysical studies

Simultaneously with the geological studies, the areas to be studied by gravimetric or gravimetric geophysics or the areas that require seismic operations should be identified. The following two methods are usually used at this stage:

  • Siesmic stratigraphy
  • Inversion-Warp-Avo


Explanations for drilling, petrophysics, well testing, and reservoir engineering are also provided in Exploration Management (2).

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