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PCJ gives assurances as oil exploration survey continues

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2016 | 12:00 AM

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CMC):

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

"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," said PCJ oil and gas manager, Brian Richardson.

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

Richardson said that seismic surveys have been ongoing for more than 80 years on land and offshore, and to date, there has been no indication that they cause earthquakes.

Tullow Jamaica, which is carrying out the surveys, signed a production-sharing agreement with PCJ, with a US$60-million investment in the project. It began surveying offshore, west of the Pedro Banks, in March 2016.

A government statement noted that if the company found any indication of oil and gas, the next step would be to do a more detailed imaging of the area.

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