SEED Science

The Making of Oil:
Birth of a Reservoir

What is a reservoir? What are some characteristics?

Where are they found?  

A reservoir can have variety of characteristics 




Tony Veneruso

"We know now that reservoirs can be very complex, fragmented pieces and blocks of permeable rock, all of which have enormous potential for containing oil and gas. Some may be very skinny reservoirs, some may be flat like pancakes, some may be fragmented. All of these different characters of reservoirs have vital amounts of oil and gas that we want to produce."

Tony Veneruso
Permanent Monitoring Platform

Roy Nurmi

"There are some areas of the world where oil and/or gas have been centralized; accumulated. The Middle East, perhaps, can be called the Land of the Giants where oil fields could be 80 kilometers long, the reservoir body could be 1000 meters thick. And with all of that filled with oil, these are significant volumes of world reserves.

Roy Nurmi
Schlumberger Interpretation Advisor - Geology

oil well pump"We have reservoirs that are as shallow as 1000 feet and we have reservoirs in Texas that are down at 30,000 feet. We have reservoirs that are perhaps one million years old and we have others that are exceeding 600 million years of age with a variety of rocks and histories, properties, and internal characteristics.

"We also might consider that oil reservoirs are dynamic. What we do to them changes their properties, but also the earth processes of burial, uplift, compaction, destruction. What is hard to believe is how many factors all have to come together to make this available for us to drill, for a reservoir to exist."

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