Dictionary of Polymer Terminology

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Exploration also known as “Hydrocarbon Exploration” is the process of finding crude oil or hydrocarbon deposits beneath the surface of the Earth by petroleum geologists and geophysicist by studying the rock & sand composition, understanding their physical and chemical properties and estimating the cost of development of an oil well if drilled in terms of economical viability.


Hydrocarbon exploration is one of the important step for scouting for crude oil and natural gas and falls under Upstream side of oil and gas industry. There are many steps that any Exploration and Production company has to follow in order to discover an economically viable hydrocarbon reservoir discovery. Steps involved are:

  • Geophysical prospecting of land that involves 2D as well as 3D seismic studies.
  • Process interpretation of the data

Seismic studies involves

  • Seismic acquisition wherein seismic energy is projected into the ground and the reflected energy is then recorded. Many shots and recordings needs to be taken so that the seismic lines can then be processed to produce a picture of the subsurface structure.
  • Seismic processing which is generally converting the raw data into wiggle traces or more commonly known as variable density displays.
  • Seismic Interpretation which are performed with the help of interactive software programs to find suitable traces of hydrocarbons.

Once geologists, geophysicists confirm the hydrocarbon presence, asset development takes place i.e. involving Well Appraisal, Well development, Hydrocarbon production and finally Abandonment once the well production life has been ended.