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The description of the types of oil and gas extraction methods are often blurred and confused, with some definitions offered for the public and others for investors and the industry.
Definitions within the industry are also varied and the terms "conventional and unconventional" drilling or techniques differ depending on where you research.
These are our conclusions from the research we have undertaken.
Conventional onshore oil and gas is referred to historically as - "oil and gas resources, which have formed into reservoirs where gas or oil has migrated to the surface from deep source-rock formations. The fuels become trapped in reservoirs of relatively porous and permeable sandstone or limestone rock formations, usually above 1,000 metres."
These types of wells have been used for many years in the UK both onshore and offshore to provide gas and oil.
The excavation wells are drilled vertically from a well pad into thereservoir enabling the fuel to begin flowing to surface due to normal pressures and without additional stimulation.
In an interview on radio in 2016 http://www.ukogplc.com/vid.php?aID=222 Stephen Sanderson, Chief Executive of UKOG, claimed the drilling planned for oil recovery from Arreton as being conventional.
However he also stated that UKOG would plan to drill horizontally into the strata and use stimulation techniques.
We consider this NOT to be Conventional drilling.
Unconventional onshore oil and gas refers to
tight oil and gas resources trapped within compressed layers of much deeper less porous sandstone or limestone rock formations or
shale oil and gas resources trapped within much deeper and denser impermeable shale rock
Accumulations of these types of hydrocarbons do not flow naturally from the strata and require extreme techniques to stimulate the well's performance and induce good flow for recovery.
New techniques for stimulation of unconventional wells are:
Horizontal drilling of multiple wells from each wellpad
Acid stimulation or Acidisation
Hydraulic Fracturing (FRACKING)
All types of unconventional drilling and their resulting industrialisation have very similar impacts and consequences for health and the environment, and both have high risk for potential pollution of land, the air and water supplies.
(See our Questions? page for more detail)
More technical information related to some of these processes can be viewed from our Technical Information link.