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Oil Wells: How Low Can Ya Go?

The first oil wells reached depths of 240 feet, which is sort of a laughing matter in today’s world.  These days, it’s not uncommon for wells to descend up to 40,000 feet below ground.  (Fun fact: at that point, temperatures have been recorded above 400°F.)  That’s farther than the deepest known part of the ocean, which rests at 36,201 feet!

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans consume almost 19 million barrels of petroleum each day.  It’s no wonder we keep drilling deeper and deeper, looking for more and more oil.  We have to keep satisfying the demand.

The below diagram depicts the depths of some of the most famous oil wells in the world in comparison to the Grand Canyon and the ocean floor.  As you scroll through, don’t be surprised when you shout, “Franklin Delano! How much farther down can we possibly go?!”

 

Energy and Capital: How Deep Do Oil Wells Go?
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