Smith county using 3D surveying for oil and gas exploration

Stacey Spivey

POSTED: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 5:42pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 7:16pm

If you live in Smith County, the past week you've probably seen big trucks holding up traffic. What they're doing is called 3D seismic surveying.

It's a process in which these trucks place 6-inch metal plates on the ground, sending sound waves underground. The trucks do eight, ten second vibrations, every two hundred feet. The 'underground blueprints' show where there's a possibility of oil and gas deposits.

While these explorations have been going on throughout Texas and Smith County for months, they could hit Tyler streets soon. "A company came in that wanted to do oil and gas exploration, and so that kind of set this all into motion," said Carter Delleney, City of Tyler Chief Engineer.

Delleney continued, "this is a very expensive endeavor to go do this seismic survey, the equipments very expensive, so somebody has a feeling, an understanding that there is oil and gas in these areas."

This isn't the first time city streets had seismic surveying. Delleney said it was done in the 1990s. "In the past it was much more invasive, this entire test is over and done with in 80 seconds," said Mike Martin, project manager with Nicholson Services in Tyler. His company has been surveying roads throughout Smith County. Martin said if the agreement goes through it "could bring lots of dollars into the county later, should this test be successful, and that we do find something here."

He says while millions of dollars are poured into these projects, the outcome could be even greater. "It could be a significant economic boom to Smith County and the city of Tyler as well," said Martin. Delleney agreed, and said it could even be put back into our wallets. He said, "obviously if citizens or property owners own mineral rights where those deposits may be then theres some financial gain there."

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