The issue of ever-depleting fossil fuels in a world where it is continually more and more in demand might be a little bit of an irony. Mankind has been dependent on fossil fuel for centuries and the large industries that do the work of mining, collecting and processing crude oil and natural gas are among the largest corporations in the world, serving an important purpose. The petroleum industry has a number of inherent nuances, making it a complex and diverse field of work. Consequently, it is important to companies to focus on any one aspect of dealing with petroleum, and that leads to a classification of these companies based on the which part of the process they specialize in. Midstream and downstream companies are more concerned with the end results — purification, segmentation and distribution. The burden of the finding crude oil and collecting it falls to entities that are known widely as upstream oil and gas companies.
What is Upstream?
The oil industry involves, as a starting point, looking for natural sources of crude oil and finding the means to drill deep into the earth in a effort to collect that crude. This very important function is wholly addressed by upstream oil and gas companies. These companies look for natural reserves of crude oil, visit these locations and drill exploratory holes in the ground to verify their findings. Once confirmed, these companies then put in the drilling and boring frameworks in place to drill for the crude and bring it to the surface, where it can be packaged and shipped to midstream oil companies for further processing. This is the first and most important part of the oil conversion process, and upstream companies have the all-important task to oversee this part of the whole.
The upstream oil industry has its roots in medieval China, where people began extracting naturally occurring oil through bamboo-drilled oil wells as early as 347 A.D. Nowadays, the process of finding crude is more refined, with detailed geological charts and technologies like ground penetrating radar coming to be of good use. Saudi Arabia is currently the world’s leading source of crude oil, followed by Russia and America, which produces more that 8 million barrels of crude per day. Overall, this industry is a vital cog in the oil wheel and the upstream oil and gas companies ensure that the process gets started off on the right foot.