Oil and gas can get trapped in pockets underground such as where the rocks are folded into an umbrella shape. Oil and gas can move through the porous rocks (rocks with gaps between the grains). The oil and gas move upwards from the source rock where they were formed. When they met a layer of cap rock (a rock with no spaces between the grains) the oil and gas are trapped.
A well is drilled so that the crude oil and other liquids travel up the bore hole. When it comes to the surface the crude oil has to be moved closer to where it is needed. Finding oil and gas trapped deep underground and drilling a well are very complicated and expensive. It costs millions of pound to drill a well and only a few are successful. The liquids found underground can be a complicated mixture of water, crude oil and gas. The crude oil and gas need to be separated before they can be transported safely.
Which rocks are porous and could make good reservoir rock? Plan an investigation to find out which rocks are most porous. Can you find out how the people who search for oil discover oil traps deep beneath the land and sea bed?
How are oil and gas transported?
Oil and gas are often found far away or under the sea. They have to be transported to an oil refinery. This is often through a pipeline or in a tanker.
The crude oil is often found in remote places such as deserts, jungle or the Arctic. Transport of the crude oil to the refinery is sometimes very complicated. The oil refinery turns crude oil into useful products and materials. These are transported all over Britain or abroad. The products can travel through pipelines, by road, rail or by boats around the coast or along rivers and canals.