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Author: ReadingMatters
No. Questions: 3
Created: Oct 5, 2013
Last Modified: 7 years ago

Making Inferences Informational 2 - Grade 6

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Ever wonder what oil looks like underground, down deep, hundreds or thousands of feet below the surface, buried under millions of tons of rock and dirt?

If you could look down an oil well and see oil where Nature created it, you might be surprised.

You wouldn't see a big underground lake, as a lot of people think. Oil doesn't exist in deep, black pools. In fact, an underground oil formation - called an "oil reservoir" - looks very much like any other rock formation. It looks a lot like...well, rock.

Oil exists underground as tiny droplets trapped inside the open spaces, called "pores," inside rocks. The "pores" and the oil droplets can be seen only through a microscope. The droplets cling to the rock, like drops of water cling to a window pane.

Squeezing Oil out of Rocks

Imagine trying to force oil through a rock. Can't be done, you say?

Actually, it can.

In fact, oil droplets can squeeze through the tiny pores of underground rock on their own, pushed by the tremendous pressures that exist deep beneath the surface. How does this happen?

Imagine a balloon, blown up to its fullest. The air in the balloon is under pressure. It wants to get out. Stick a pin in the balloon and the air escapes with a bang!

Oil in a reservoir acts something like the air in a balloon. The pressure comes from millions of tons of rock lying on the oil and from the earth's natural heat that builds up in an oil reservoir and expands any gases that may be in the rock. The result is that when an oil well strikes an underground oil reservoir, the natural pressure is released - like the air escaping from a balloon.

The pressure forces the oil through the rock and up the well to the surface.
Grade 6 Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions CCSS: CCRA.R.1, RI.6.1, RST.6-8.1
Based on this passage, which statement about striking an underground oil reservoir is most likely true?
  1. Many oil reservoirs are full of compressed air.
  2. The oil bursts out of the ground with a great deal of power.
  3. Rocks collapse into the ground once the oil has been struck.
  4. The oil is pumped out of a thick underground lake reservoir.
Grade 6 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.6.2, RST.6-8.2
Which would make the best title for this passage?
  1. Poking an Underground Balloon
  2. Like Droplets on a Window Pane
  3. Getting Oil Out of Rocks
  4. Treasure in an Underground Pool
Grade 6 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.8, RI.6.8, RST.6-8.8
Why does the author most likely use the example of the balloon?
  1. To explain what oil droplets look like to experts
  2. To demonstrate how oil is forced through a rock
  3. To show how people's ideas about underground oil is mistaken
  4. To illustrate how the rock's pores appear under a microscope