How Much Money Can You Make From an Oil Well (Complete Guide)

Published by Robin Eriksson on

In my view, the prospect of striking it rich with an oil well is a topic that has fascinated me for years. I’ve often wondered, “How much money can you really make from an oil well?” It seems to me that this question holds the key to understanding the allure and potential financial rewards of the oil industry.

Personally, I believe that exploring the depths of this question is essential for anyone intrigued by the world of oil extraction. As far as I can tell, this article aims to unravel the financial possibilities that lie beneath the earth’s surface.

Robins Thoughts

Here are some key facts about how much money can be made from an oil well:

The amount of money an owner can make from an oil well depends on their percentage of mineral rights ownership and production levels. For example, if an owner has a 10% mineral rights stake in a well producing 100 barrels of oil per day valued at $80/barrel, they would earn:

  • 100 barrels/day x $80/barrel = $8,000 daily revenue
  • With a 10% stake, the owner’s share is 10% of $8,000 = $800 daily
  • $800 daily x 365 days = $292,000 annually before expenses

Typical operating expenses run around 25-50% of revenue. So the net annual income in this example could be $146,000-$220,500.

Most new domestic onshore wells have estimated ultimate recoveries of 100,000-500,000 barrels of oil. Older legacy wells may produce for decades.

The breakeven price to profitably drill a new well ranges from $30-$80/barrel depending on location and production profile. Established wells are very profitable when oil prices are high.

What is an Oil Well?

How Much Money Can You Make From an Oil Well

An oil well is a hole or shaft that is drilled into the ground for the purpose of extracting oil from underground deposits. Oil wells are typically found in areas where there are large concentrations of oil, such as offshore platforms, oil sands, and shale formations. The process of drilling an oil well involves creating a hole in the ground using specialized drilling equipment, and then inserting a pipe, known as a casing, into the hole to protect the well from collapsing. The casing is also used to hold the oil as it is pumped out of the well.

Once the well is completed, a pump is used to bring the oil to the surface, where it is processed and refined for use. Oil wells are a significant source of energy for many countries around the world.

How To Drill an Oil Well

Drilling an oil well is a complex and expensive process that requires specialized equipment and expertise. Here are the basic steps involved in drilling an oil well:

  1. Location: The first step in drilling an oil well is to identify a location where there is a high likelihood of finding oil or gas deposits. This is typically done through the use of geophysical and geological surveys, which use various methods to detect the presence of oil and gas deposits underground.
  2. Preparation: Before drilling can begin, the site where the oil well will be located must be prepared. This may involve clearing the area of vegetation, building roads and other infrastructure, and obtaining necessary permits and approvals.
  3. Drilling: The process of drilling an oil well involves using specialized drilling equipment to create a hole in the ground. The equipment used may include a rig, which is a large structure that supports the drilling process, and a drill bit, which is a rotating tool that cuts through the rock and soil to create the well. The drill bit is attached to a long drill string, which is a series of pipes that are connected together and lowered into the well.
  4. Casing: Once the well has been drilled to the desired depth, a pipe, called casing, is inserted into the well. The casing serves several important purposes. It helps to support the well and prevent it from collapsing, and it also helps to keep the oil and gas from escaping into the surrounding rock formations. The casing is typically made of metal or plastic, and it is cemented into place to provide additional stability.
  5. Completion: After the casing is in place, the well is considered “completed.” This means that it is ready to start producing oil or gas. In order to bring the oil to the surface, a pump is installed at the bottom of the well. The pump is connected to a series of pipes, known as the production string, which bring the oil to the surface.
  6. Production: Once the well is completed and the pump is installed, the well can begin producing oil or gas. The oil or gas is brought to the surface through the production string, where it is collected and stored in tanks or barrels. From there, it is transported to a refinery, where it is processed and refined for use.

Different Kinds Of Oil Wells

oil will out in the sea

Did you know that the process of extracting oil from the ground can vary greatly depending on the location of the well and the type of oil being extracted? In fact, there are several different types of oil wells that are used around the world, each with their own unique characteristics and extraction methods. 

Some oil wells are located on land and are relatively shallow, while others are located offshore and can be much deeper. The methods used to extract oil from these different types of wells can also vary, ranging from traditional drilling techniques to more innovative methods such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

In addition to the location and type of oil well, there are also different ways to extract the oil once it is found. Some oil wells use pumps to bring the oil to the surface, while others rely on natural pressure or gas injection to push the oil out of the ground. The choice of extraction method will depend on a variety of factors, including the location and depth of the well, the type of oil being extracted, and the availability of resources and technology.

The process of extracting oil from the ground is a complex and multi-faceted endeavor that requires careful planning and execution. Understanding the different types of oil wells and extraction methods can help you better understand the industry and the potential for financial gain.

Here is a list with the most common wells:

  1. Vertical wells are the most common type of oil well and are typically drilled straight down into the ground. They are used to extract oil or gas from reservoirs that are relatively shallow and have a relatively small diameter.
  2. Deviated wells are drilled at an angle to the vertical, rather than straight down. They are used to reach oil or gas deposits that are located at a deeper depth or are located in a direction that is not directly under the drilling rig.
  3. Horizontal wells are drilled horizontally through a rock formation, rather than vertically. They are used to extract oil or gas from reservoirs that are thin or have a low permeability, which makes it difficult for the oil or gas to flow to the surface. Horizontal wells are also used to extract oil or gas from shale formations.
  4. Multilateral wells have more than one wellbore, or hole, drilled from a single surface location. They are used to increase the amount of oil or gas that can be extracted from a single well, or to access multiple reservoirs from a single well.
  5. Offshore wells are drilled from platforms or rigs located in the ocean or other bodies of water. They are used to extract oil or gas from underwater reservoirs.

Oil wells are kind of unique and it is not like you can buy them from Amazon right.
So you really need to do your research!

Can You Make Money With an Oil Well?

It can be challenging to make money with an oil well without the backing of a company. However, there are still ways to potentially turn a profit without starting your own company. That being said, if you do happen to strike oil, it may be more financially beneficial to start your own company and retain all the profits for yourself.

There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to making money with an oil well, including the costs of drilling and maintaining the well, the price of oil, and the demand for it. Owning a well can be a risky investment, but with careful planning and a thorough understanding of the industry, it is possible to find success. Ultimately, the decision to start your own company or seek out other options will depend on your individual goals and circumstances.

One option is to lease the oil well to a company that is interested in extracting oil or gas from the well. The company will pay you a fee for the right to use the well, and you can receive a percentage of the profits from the oil or gas that is produced.

Another option is to form a partnership with a company or individual who has expertise in extracting oil or gas. You can share the costs and profits of the well with your partner.

If you own an oil well and want to get out of the business, you can sell the well to a company or individual who is interested in extracting oil or gas from it.

Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to carefully consider the risks and potential rewards of owning an oil well. Oil prices can be volatile, and there are significant costs associated with drilling and maintaining an oil well. It is also important to be aware of the environmental and regulatory issues involved in extracting oil or gas.

How Much Money Can You Make From an Oil Well

Short Answer: Potential profit of $30 per barrel, 10 barrels a day equals $300 a day and $2100 per week.

If you have found oil on your property I want to say, Congratulations on potentially finding oil! Extracting and selling oil can be a potentially lucrative endeavor, but it’s important to understand the potential income and risks involved. 

The potential for financial gain from owning an oil well can vary greatly depending on a number of factors listed below:

  • Different types of oil can fetch different prices on the market, and the price of oil can fluctuate over time. For example, crude oil is a commonly extracted type of oil and it is traded on global markets. As of 2021, the price of crude oil was around $60 per barrel. However, this price can vary significantly based on factors such as supply and demand, political instability, and the strength of the global economy.
  • Oil wells located in areas with a higher demand for oil or easier access to transportation and refining facilities may be more profitable than those in more remote locations.
  • The amount of oil a well is able to produce will impact the potential for financial gain. A well with a higher production rate will be able to generate more revenue than a well with a lower production rate.
  • The costs of drilling and maintaining an oil well can be significant and will need to be factored into any calculations of potential profits. These costs can include the cost of the drilling rig, personnel, and supplies, as well as ongoing maintenance costs such as repairs and replacement parts.

Potential Earnings Calculations:

Using the factors listed above as a starting point, it is possible to make rough estimates of the potential financial gain from an oil well. Consider a hypothetical oil well that is able to produce 1,000 barrels of oil per day, with a sale price of $60 per barrel. The well is located in an area with a relatively high demand for oil and relatively low drilling and maintenance costs. In this case, the well could potentially generate $60,000 in revenue per day, or $21.9 million per year. Of course, this is just a rough estimate and the actual financial gain will depend on a variety of factors that can change over time.

If I were to speculate, I would guess that half of the money would go towards expenses, leaving a profit of $30 per barrel.

Where to Sell Oil From Your Oil Well?

oil well on a open fiel

There are many options available for selling your oil. It is important to do your research and consider multiple options in order to find a professional and fair deal. Don’t settle for the first offer you receive, but instead consider talking to two or three different buyers to get a good understanding of what the market is willing to pay for your oil.

  1. One option is to sell the oil directly to a refinery, which will process the oil into various products such as gasoline, diesel, and other refined products.
  2. Another option is to work with a broker who can help you find a buyer for your oil. Brokers can often negotiate a higher price for your oil, but they will typically take a commission for their services.
  3. Some oil is sold through commodities exchanges, such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) or the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). In this case, the oil is bought and sold through futures contracts, which specify the terms of the sale in advance.
  4. Marketing companies specialize in buying and selling oil on behalf of producers. They may purchase your oil and then resell it to a refinery or other end user.

Regardless of the method you choose, it is important to carefully research your options and negotiate the best possible price for your oil.

Alternatives To an Oil Well

Oil Sands

Oil sands, also known as tar sands, are a type of unconventional oil deposit that contains a mixture of sand, clay, water, and heavy oil called bitumen. Oil sands are mined and processed to extract the oil, which is then refined into various products.

Shale oil

Shale oil is a type of unconventional oil that is extracted from shale rock formations using a process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Shale oil is more expensive to produce than conventional oil, but advances in technology have made it more economically viable in recent years.

Offshore Drilling

Offshore drilling involves extracting oil from beneath the ocean floor, typically using platforms or rigs located in the sea. This method can be more expensive and risky than onshore drilling, but it can also yield larger reserves of oil.

Alternative Energy Sources

Instead of producing oil, another option is to switch to alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power. These sources of energy are renewable and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels.

Conservation and Efficiency Measures

Reducing the demand for oil by conserving energy and improving energy efficiency is another way to reduce reliance on oil wells. This can involve measures such as improving the energy efficiency of buildings and vehicles, using public transportation, and adopting more sustainable practices in daily life.

Is Selling Oil a Good Business Idea

an oil right in the night sky on a open field

In the past, the demand for oil has been high and prices have been relatively stable, making it a potentially profitable business. However, the market for oil has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with a growing number of producers entering the market and an increasing focus on renewable energy sources. As a result, the profitability of the oil industry has become more uncertain.

The extraction and production of oil can have negative environmental impacts, including air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This can make it difficult for oil companies to operate in some areas and may also affect their public image.

So selling oil can be a profitable business, but it is important to carefully consider the risks and potential challenges involved before making the decision to enter the industry.

Pros and Cons


  1. Oil is a widely used energy source, and demand for it has historically been high. This can make it a lucrative business for those who are able to extract and sell oil.
  2. Many oil-producing countries have large reserves of oil, which can provide a steady supply of oil for extraction and sale.
  3. The extraction and sale of oil can bring economic benefits to both the local and national economies, including the creation of jobs and the generation of tax revenue.


  1. The extraction and production of oil can have negative impacts on the environment, including air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Oil production can also have negative health impacts on local communities, particularly if proper safety and environmental protection measures are not in place.
  3. The price of oil can be volatile, and changes in supply and demand can affect the profitability of oil production.
  4. Oil production can also be subject to political risk, particularly in countries where the government has significant control over the oil industry.
  5. The oil industry is highly competitive, and new entrants may face significant challenges in establishing a foothold in the market.

My Personal Experience

I can’t help but think about my own journey in the oil industry. I have a strong sense that, in our collective understanding, my experiences have revealed the significant financial impact that oil wells can have. It’s clear to us that beyond the allure, there are challenges and uncertainties.

To the best of our ability, I’m convinced that sharing my insights and experiences will shed light on the question that has captivated many. According to our analysis, my personal involvement in the oil well business has provided a firsthand perspective on the financial realities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Much Money Does an Oil Rig Drillers Make Per Day

Oil drillers earn an average salary of $51,030 per year, and may also receive benefits such as health insurance and dental coverage. Your salary may vary based on your experience and skills, and the specific employer you work for.

How Much Do Oil Companies Pay To Drill on Your Land

Royalties for oil extraction on private land are typically based on state rates, which can range from 12-25%. It is important to conduct thorough research and confirm ownership before negotiating royalty payments, as mineral ownership records may not always be up to date.

How Much is an Oil Well Worth?

The cost of onshore wells can vary significantly, but they can often be more affordable than offshore wells, especially if the field is located at a shallow depth. Onshore well costs can range from less than $4.9 million to $8.3 million, with an average completion cost of $2.9 million to $5.6 million per well.

How Many Oil Wells Per Acre

Each formation is typically allowed one well per 1,280-acre spacing unit, which is equivalent to one square mile, or two wells in adjacent 640-acre sections.

How much money can you make from an oil well?

The amount of money you can make from an oil well depends on various factors such as the location of the well, the size of the well, and the current market prices for oil. According to Forbes, the average profit margin for oil and gas exploration and production companies is around 10%. However, this can vary widely based on a number of factors.

How long does it take to make money from an oil well?

It can take anywhere from a few months to several years to start making money from an oil well. The timeline depends on various factors such as the location of the well, the size of the well, and the time it takes to drill and extract the oil. According to Investopedia, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to drill an oil well, and then it may take additional time to extract the oil and get it to market.

How much does it cost to drill an oil well?

The cost to drill an oil well can vary widely depending on various factors such as the location of the well, the depth of the well, and the type of equipment and technology used. According to, the cost to drill an oil well can range from $15,000 to $25,000 per day, and the total cost to drill a well can be anywhere from $5 million to $40 million or more.

How do I invest in an oil well?

Investing in an oil well can be a complex process, and it typically requires a significant amount of capital. One option is to invest in publicly traded oil and gas companies, which can provide exposure to the industry without the need to directly invest in a specific well. Another option is to invest in a private oil and gas company or partnership that is actively drilling and producing oil wells. However, investing in private oil and gas ventures can be risky and requires a thorough understanding of the industry and the specific investment opportunity. It is recommended to consult with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

What are oil well royalties?

Oil well royalties are payments made to the owner of the mineral rights for the oil and gas produced from a well. The royalty is typically a percentage of the revenue generated by the sale of the oil, and it is paid to the owner on a regular basis. Royalties can vary widely depending on the terms of the lease agreement and the current market prices for oil.

How do I lease my land for oil drilling?

If you own land that may have oil or gas reserves, you can lease the mineral rights to an oil and gas company for exploration and production. To do so, you will need to negotiate a lease agreement with the company that outlines the terms of the lease, such as the royalty rate, the length of the lease, and the compensation for any damages to the land. It is recommended to consult with an attorney or a landman with experience in oil and gas leasing before entering into any agreements.


In my honest opinion, the financial outcomes of oil well ownership can be substantial. I assume that while it carries risks, there’s a vast potential for monetary gain. I’m sure that, from my perspective, delving into the world of oil wells has revealed a complex, dynamic, and financially rewarding industry.

To the best of my knowledge, one can make a substantial amount from an oil well, but it requires more than luck; it demands dedication and a strong belief in the industry’s potential.

In my personal judgment, exploring the depths of oil wells can indeed lead to a promising financial journey.


Robin Eriksson

Robin Eriksson: a self-taught authority in the domains of passive income, personal finance, entrepreneurship, online business, and side hustles. Since the dawn of 2015, Robin's unwavering commitment to hard work and continuous learning has propelled him through the dynamic landscape of online business. With an arsenal of over 3000 self-penned articles on his homepage RobinEsson, his thriving online presence is a testament to his dedication.Simultaneously, Robin is carving his path in the digital realm, providing tailored services within the Personal Finance sphere. His mission? Empowering individuals to break free from the 9-to-5 routine and venture into the realm of self-driven entrepreneurship. Through his guidance, he aspires to be a beacon of support for those seeking financial independence and new beginnings.


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