I’m living right smack in the midst of the Pennsylvania shale gas boom.
It’s one of the reasons I may be moving and relocating – but more about that another time.
In my neck of the woods most landowner’s have leased their farms and properties to Shell.
Local farmers have signed 5 year leases and received substantial upfront “signing bonuses”.
We are at the very beginning phase of shale gas production.
Sadly the fabric of my small farming community is beginning to unravel due to the influx of so much money so fast with the promise of much more to come. Avarice, greed and petty jealousies have set neighbor against neighbor.
It’s the money and not the frack water that will poison all our lives here.
There have been several deep horizontal test wells drilled already with more to come this summer.
At present 3-D seismic testing is being conducted with crews from Texas.
(who by the way hate our cool weather)
I thought you might like to see some of the seismic equipment that is being used and located throughout my section of western Pennsylvania.
The way that I understand the 3-D seismic testing process is that first a section of land is surveyed.
Then 3” holes are drilled in a grid like pattern over the surveyed location to a depth of about 20’ or so – sometimes deeper.
Next at the bottom of the holes 2.2 pounds of ammonium nitrate explosive is placed. Geophones, wires and cables are also set in place to record the sonar like returns when the explosives are set off.
The resulting images give information about the thickness of the Marcellus and Utica shale and its formation.
There have been a few problems with some of the early seismic testing studies.
Seems that the crews where placing charges that were too hot for the population density of western Pennsylvania, resulting in some cracked house foundations and other property damage.
The general advice that is now given to people is to take pictures of your house and outbuilding foundations and don’t sign anything that will hold the testing company harmless from damages.