3-D seismic survey to search for oil, gas beneath Tyler streets

Published on Thursday, 24 July 2014 20:12 - Written by Kelly Gooch kgooch@tylerpaper.com

     Some Tyler residents might notice temporary noise and traffic disruption in the coming weeks as 3-D seismic surveying is conducted  throughout the city.
     The testing, which is for oil and gas exploration, is planned for the following streets: North Glenwood Boulevard, Rolling Hill Drive, Shady Trail Drive, Baldwin Drive, Benbrook Drive, Shawnee Boulevard, Southridge Drive, Sherwood Street, Belvedere Boulevard, West 24th Street and West Barrett Street.
     Also: Woodlawn Street, West Tulsa Street, Wisteria Drive, Jordan Street, Charlotte Drive, Lee Street, Bellaire Drive, Ada Avenue, Garden Valley Road, West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, West 29th Street, Manorway Street and Live Oak Street, according to a city presentation.
     Streets where testing will occur at multiple points are West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, North Glenwood Boulevard, Baldwin Drive and Charlotte Drive.
     City Engineer Carter Delleney said he expects testing to begin this next week and last about three weeks.
     During that time, Delleney said trucks travel on certain streets to get a 3-D view of what is underneath the ground. He described it as a “rolling road block.”
     He said the trucks are there to send vibrations down through the soil, with the goal of searching and finding oil and gas reserves. Devices called geophones, which are put on private property with permission from the property owner, then collect data from the vibrations. No drilling is involved.
     “In the same way that you do a survey on the surface to find and locate where things are, and what the boundaries are, this is the same thing, just underground. They’re trying to find boundaries of where there may be gas or where there may be oil,” he said.
     According to a document provided by the city, surveyors will put pin flags along the right of way, and the geophone devices also will be put in the right of way.
     Trucks will then travel the marked route, and sound wave vibrations are released into the ground, the document reads.
     However, Delleney said, trucks don’t necessarily go down every street that has been identified for testing.
“At the distance they’re (the surveyors) going to be from the street to where the structures are, as I understand it, they have parameters that they go by. If houses are too close to where they’re going to be vibrating, they’ll do another road in the area, so they’ll vibrate on some roads but they’ll be picking up data on maybe the next street over,” he said.
     Delleney said residents who live on streets where the trucks will be coming may feel a slight vibration if they are inside their home at the time.
     He said the machines also are audibly loud and can be noisy, but the trucks will do the vibration process and then move on down the road.
     Additionally, the surveying will be a little disruptive for the traveling public, but that’s why there are plans to have police, as well as traffic control, Delleney said.
     He said trucks will come through at regular hours during the day and will try to stay off roads during the peak traffic times.
     For more information about the project, call the city’s Engineering Department at 903-531-1126.