They Come From the Crust

The need to find new energy resources has led to pioneering technologies in the oil industry. One of these is the practice of core sampling by the use of a hollow drill that collects cylindrical selections of the Earth’s crust. Today, extracting oil located in the shale and sandstone is becoming more common in order to meet the world’s energy needs. However, extracting oil from rock is often the hardest and most costly method in the energy industry. Due to this, oil companies employ geologists and conduct countless studied to determine if oil is present in rock formations and if extraction is worth it.

Although core sampling began with the oil industry, it is now a valuable tool for scientists looking to study plate tectonics, the Eath’s crust, and other geological features. Some drillships, like Glomar Challenger, are built solely for geological research.

Houston Maritime docent Laurence Schallenberger donated these three core samples and bottle of crude oil. The rock samples and crude oil came from the Sadlerochit Formation, an underground geological feature on the North Coast of Alaska that supplies the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field. The Prudhoe Bay Oil Field used to hold the rank as the largest oil reservoir in the United States, but due to continuous production since 1997, the field has since fallen to third-largest, behind two oil fields in Texas.

Excerpt from The Anchor Newsletter, November 2017

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