AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

August 31, 2012

Seismic survey set

Texas firm says will cover any road damage

By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Allied News

SPRINGFIELD — The Texas seismic surveying company making its way to Findley Township will also be in Springfield Township to test the presence of Marcellus Shale.

Discovery Acquisition Services out of Katy, which provides permitting, surveying and drilling services, plans to survey Holstein and Lee roads, Barb Brown, Springfield Township administrator, said at the supervisors' Tuesday meeting.

"They're approaching all the other townships," she said.

Findley Township supervisors on Aug. 1 said DAS would be checking Lee and Hartwick roads for oil and gas to see if the area is a good source for drilling exploratory wells for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

The Marcellus Shale is a mile or more underground in parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. Fracking takes millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals and injects it into wells to break up shale and release trapped gas or oil.

Opponents of the controversial process are worried about health, safety and pollution; industry officials say it's safe if done properly.

The surveying will be done on the actual road surface, not private property, and DAS will not bore holes to detonate dynamite, which is seismic testing method, said James Knight, Springfield Township roadmaster and director of public works.

DAS will use the vibration method, which involves several trucks, steel plates, cables and recording equipment, he said, adding that some residents "might be unhappy."

"It really shakes the ground," Knight said. "I don't believe it's gonna hurt the roads."

Several township officials at the meeting said friends or relatives who live elsewhere felt their homes shake or had pictures fall off their walls when seismic surveying happened near their property.

The process, which has caused protests elsewhere, isn't supposed to cause any damage but DAS's agreement with the township says the company will cover the costs of any damage to the roads, Brown said.

DAS has been hired by Shell Exploration & Production Co. of Warrendale to perform the surveying, she said.

Officials from both townships said they didn't know when DAS will do the surveying nor are they aware of any drilling permits being issued.

Knight said DAS seems to be working its way across Pennsylvania, finally reaching the Mercer County area.

"They just now got to us," he said.

Jim White, president of business development at DAS, has said the seismic surveying process takes about a year.

Published Aug. 11, 2012 in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201A Erie St., Grove City.