Oil is one of the world's most important and valuable natural resources. It is found beneath the Earth's surface in reservoirs, and it is used for fuel, lubricants, and other products. But how is oil found and extracted?

The process of finding and extracting oil starts with seismic surveys. These surveys use sound waves to map the underground layers of the Earth's crust. Geologists use the data from the seismic survey to locate areas with the greatest potential for oil reserves. Once a potential oil reservoir is located, the next step is drilling an exploratory well. This is a deep, narrow hole that is drilled into the Earth to identify and test the oil reserves. After the exploratory well is drilled, samples are taken to determine the quality and quantity of the oil.

If the exploratory well yields oil, a production well is drilled. This is a much wider hole that is designed to maximize the flow of oil from the reservoir. To increase the flow of oil, engineers may use a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to break up the rock and create pathways for the oil to flow.

Once the production well is in place, the oil is extracted and piped to a refinery where it is processed into fuel, lubricants, and other products.

Finding and extracting oil is an expensive and complex process. But, it is a necessary one if we want to continue to benefit from this important natural resource.