Does oil drilling effect earth?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Lord Vasago, May 23, 2007.

  1. Lord Vasago bcd Registered Senior Member

    I'm wondering what happens beneath the earth while we keep drilling for oil.

    If you know that we drill millions of liters a day, what does this do to the mantel of our earth? :shrug:
    Are there giant caves ? you could fit city's in it.:eek:
    Are earthquake a result of this?
    What happens if by some way the mantel colapses. Would this leave a giant hole? and if so what effect would this have on the spinning of the earth?:confused:

    I know that are a lot of "ifs" butt it is something i think about alot.
    Mankind is destroying our planet but doesn't care.
  2. matthyaouw Registered Senior Member

    There won't be caves. Oil is held in pore spaces in solid rock, so when you remove it, you end up with solid rock without oil (probably replaced by water). The mantle won't be affected, as this is generally separated from the oil bearing rocks by several of kilometers of crust. There is sometimes some subsidence related to oil extraction though.
  3. BoSmoke Mr Ganja Lover Registered Senior Member

    When oil comes out of a well its under lots of pressure, shoots up like firehose water. There must be lots of rock weight pressing in on it where its stored underground. So when the oil is gone, surely some of the rock must move in to fill the spaces or pores?

    It might be in places, something comes up from below to take its place, like lava. This article says maybe in future the subsidence could get worse, and work together with seas rising to put land underwater.
  4. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

    Usually something else is pumped into the well. Especially towards the end of the well's useful life, so that the stuff being pumped in forces the last drops of oil out.
  5. BoSmoke Mr Ganja Lover Registered Senior Member

    People squeeze out the rocks like a sponge? - execpt them put water IN at the end, not wring it out.

    I though crude oil's much heavier molecules thn water.. never understood why it floats so well!
  6. spidergoat Bernie Sanders 2016 Valued Senior Member

    Crude oil, Mexican 60oF 973 kg/m3
    Water - sea 77oF 1022 kg/m3

    Yes they pump seawater into oil wells to displace the oil, and so the well won't collapse.
  7. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    It's not just for displacement but continued well pressure.

    What they should be pumping down there though is replacement organic waste. Like for instance particular oils that are from grown produce, so when we eventually run out there is something there to decompose in the future.
  8. BoSmoke Mr Ganja Lover Registered Senior Member

    Cool idea, but wouldnt it take millions of years to make more crude?

    Even if not, it seems like a false economy to spend fuel powering pumps to put future oil IN the gound, just so we or our grandkids can pump it back up later...
  9. Lord Vasago bcd Registered Senior Member

    in a lot of countries (like my own) there to much menure; maybe that would be a solution as long as they don't put toxicwaste in it it would be fine i guess. Would seawater get warm if it's to deep onderground? What if it transforms into steam, would the presure get to great?:shrug:

    If the steam hasn't got a way out it may rip the ground open.:bugeye:
  10. Chatha big brown was screwed up Registered Senior Member

    My guess is that oil drilling barely affects the earth in any significant way, except in earth quake prone areas. Off shore drilling is more effective since it can affect marine life.
  11. BoSmoke Mr Ganja Lover Registered Senior Member

    Seawater gets way hotter than boiling at deep ocean volcanos, like all along the Atlantic ridge. Cant boil though, cause like you say the pressure is to great. And far under ground its even greater. Im sure water works its way down subduction zones into the mantle all the time, but theres no big steam cloud pushingthe Earth's crust off! :D
  12. FM-1 Registered Member

    I have been thinking the same for a long time. I have reached a basic theory, the earth may work as similar to an engine. Oil may be used both to reduce friction and lower earth temperature, by limiting the friction between the plaques. I am no scientist so I might be completely wrong but also pumping water to a hole of some kind might create a more unstable situation beacause water is heavier but, is it more dense?, if so why do we use oil in so many applications to create materials like glues, roads, etc. thank you for posting here you all have teached me a lot.
  13. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member


    good points, but;, everything is on the, what do i call it in english, you know the upper part of earth, the earth is like an onion, with stages, and we are on the upper stage, anyway, even if maked a thousand hole, it wan't affect the gravitation or the spinning, but it wuill cause aloot of earthquackes, inless they refell those holes after finishing using the oil, well, those holes could make a very good project, i mean, make the hole secured, and build something in it, mabe un,der ground shetlers, or,or something beautifull like aquariums or something, etc... or for a scientific expirement, anyway, don't worry, it's all the upper part of earth buisness.
  14. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member


    ah bytheway, we had 2 earthquackes last week(or the week before it), but woth were light, and don't affect anything, just things shake alittle :p but didnt reach my city.
  15. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member


    we are destroying our planet, but our planet want be destroyed because of us, global warming, global colding or whatever, is happeneing millions of years ago, not just now, deserts are turning to forests, and forests turning the deserts, then forests turning to deserts and deserts turning forests, that's happening millions of years ago, and it will all happen, again, sooner or later.
  16. Grim_Reaper I Am Death Destroyer of Worlds Registered Senior Member

    No drilling and extracting oil is not the reason for Earth quakes Tectonic displacement is and as far as the sinkholes go sometimes it happens like in some parts of Texas but that was before they refined the extraction process. The earth will be fine it will go on until the day that our Sun goes nova or it gets hit by a Big ass asteroid. Both of which I am not going to care about while driving my SUV that get 3 miles to the Gallon pulling my Car from Show to show.
  17. raptorttail Registered Member

    i'm a geologist.

    The impact of drilling for oil is zilch on any scale other than surface enviromental concerns.

    Think of a 90 story tap a sewing needle into a brick of that building...about the same impact as a so-called 'deep' well. The building isn't going to collapse or anything else happen.

    Yes, the brick might be scratched...a chip of paint fall off and leave a blemish.
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    What a coincidence. This question was asked and answered in today's Washington Post. The answer was: Yes, it leaves some cavities that may eventually collapse. But we pump far more water out of the earth's surface and we have been doing it for a much longer time, and the effect is much more serious. The south central part of Arizona is already sinking. That's the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, where most of the people in the state live.
    There will never be more crude. That was a once-in-a-planet's-lifetime opportunity. Petroleum is dead trees that have been allowed to lie around undisturbed for about three hundred million years. The reason that they remained undisturbed for this incredibly long time is that none of the organisms that lived in the Carboniferous Era had an enzyme that could break down lignin, the rigid substance that gives trees their strength. In other words, nothing could eat or decay wood.

    This is not the case any more. When a potential source of nutrition is available, evolution often eventually steps in and provides us with an organism that can make use of it. In this case it is certain species of fungus, including the ubiquitous common brown button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. You see huge colonies of this fungus in a walk through the forest, growing on dead trees and happily converting their wood into nutrients, using the lignin modifying enzymes (LMEs) which their body chemistry evolved over time. Some bacteria also have LMEs.

    The petroleum in existence now is all there will ever be. In fact, evolution is working on that too: There are now bacteria that can eat petroleum. They evolved in the ocean after the start of offshore oil drilling, because no matter how carefully the process is performed, there is always a little seepage burbling up on the sea floor. In fact, every single year twice as much petroleum seeps into the Gulf of Mexico this way as was spilled into the Arctic by the Exxon Valdez. These bacteria are amazingly efficient: the half-life of any blob of petroleum in the ocean is only three days! The residual "plume" in the Gulf from the BP spill will, for all practical purposes, vanish in a few more weeks without any human intervention.

    Since these bacteria evolved to live on the ocean floor, they are actually more effective in colder water. At 40 degrees (5C) they consume oil twice as fast as at 70 (27C).
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  19. John Connellan Registered loser Valued Senior Member

    Is your name supposed to be an anagram of oil ;)
  20. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

    There have always been natural seeps of oil into the oceans, and erosion sometimes exposes oil deposits which then find their way into water. Natural sources account for as much as 46% of oil at sea.

    So why would oil-eating bacteria have only evolved since the human oil industry started? Considering how fast bacteria can evolve, one would think that they would have appeared in Paleozoic times - as soon as the first oil deposits began to seep.

    Your answer to BoSmoke's old question about the formation of crude oil - that it will never form again - seems a bit of a severe blanket statement. New oil can be formed in rotting garbage even today.

    BTW, why was this thread resurrected after 3 years?

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