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What is Seismic Drilling

What is Seismic Drilling?

Seismic drilling or shot hole drilling is the kind of drilling conducted as part of the seismic survey of a geologic information. In this survey, the team makes use of a series of controlled vibrations in order to generate a map of subsurface structures. With the help of this map, they would be able to identify where the deposits of usable materials can be found and how accessible they are to the drilling equipment. In addition, this seismic survey is of great importance in oil and gas exploration. This can also be utilized by researchers when mapping geologic formations for scientific purposes.

Equipment Used

In seismic drilling, a specially designed rig is used by companies to dig a hole to the desired depth. Water and air drills are available for such purpose. These two are often mounted on sledges or mobile platforms. This gives the team the chance to move the drill between locations- a critical factor in large surveys. The time it requires to set up a drilling platform and to stabilize it can considerably add to the overall time that is needed for the survey. Given this situation, the team uses mobile drills whenever possible.

The Process

When sinking a hole is done, the team proceeds to mounting the explosives inside. The explosives will cause underground vibration. With the help of seismic equipment, they will follow the movement and reflection of the vibrations. With such information, they would be able to construct a map of underground features and formations. The team for seismic drilling may include, explosive experts, geologists, and other personnel who have undergone training in seismic surveys.

Secure a Permit

A permit is often required in such kind of drilling. This is because such process can be disruptive and can even cause problems for animals, plants, or residents in the area. Applicants for the permit need to describe the area that the want to work in and the things they will be doing there. While the members are on site, they should follow a set of company protocols to make the site safe. They should also control waste material to ensure that the site is clean and orderly.

When the acquired information is viable, the team would be able to pinpoint locations to drill wells. The company may also sink some test wells in order to confirm the findings before starting a full-scale production on site. The investigation and exploration can cost a lot of money, more so when companies consider that not all target site would be able to yield usable deposits. There are some sites that may not have any useful material. On the other hand, there are some deposits that are visible on seismic survey but are unreachable because of the depth and configuration.