Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Seismic surveys for oil are environmentally sound - Petroleum Corporation

Published:Wednesday | June 8, 2016 | 3:16 PM
A seismic survey vessel drags an array of testing equipment behind it to collect offshore data. (Image courtesy of CGG Veritas)

The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is assuring Jamaicans that seismic surveys for oil will not cause any disruptions to the environment.

These activities, which are being undertaken by exploration company Tullow Jamaica, involve the use of sound waves to conduct imaging below the surface of the ocean.

“The sound waves are like speakers, basically, which do some shaking.

However, this is within a couple of feet of the actual device itself.

The sound wave has a limited range in terms of the vibration that it imparts,” Oil and Gas Manager at the PCJ, Brian Richardson, said at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on June 1.

“It is, therefore, very unlikely for the sound wave to cause an effect within the rock,” he added.

He pointed out that seismic surveys have been ongoing for over 80 years on land and offshore, and to date there has been no indication that they cause earthquakes.

Tullow Jamaica signed a production-sharing agreement with PCJ, making an investment of US$60 million in the project.

They began surveying offshore, west of the Pedro Banks, in March 2016.
If the company finds any indication of oil and gas, the next step is to do a more detailed imaging of the area.

In the meantime, the PCJ is looking for additional partners to explore for oil and gas in Jamaica.

Richardson said that the PCJ facilitates those companies interested in exploring in Jamaica and will assist in the process of moving from an interest to an actual contract.