Seismic tests used in hunt for oil

Crews are conducting seismic tests over a 100-square-mile area of Livingston Parish in search of oil and gas, an official with Strand Energy Co. confirmed Friday.

The work is aimed at locating possible “deeper” deposits, said Scott Airey, a vice president of the Houston firm.

For the most part, the work is separate from the Tuscaloosa Trend, he said.

Airey declined to give more detailed information about the mineral prospects.

People doing the exploration think there is a large, deep pocket of natural gas in the area, said Bobby Font, who signed an agreement with the company before leaving office as mayor of Walker earlier this month.

“That’s exactly what we’ve heard,” Parish President Layton Ricks said of the exploration. “It could be interesting.

“There’s no drilling lined up yet, but I think it’s coming,” he said.

Rick Ramsey, Walker’s new mayor, said he has received information unofficially that the company involved is looking at the possibility of deep pockets of oil and gas.

“We’re hoping it will be where the city’s park lands are,” he said. “A new revenue stream for the city would be nice.”

Most of the area where seismic work is being done is south of U.S. 190, said Donnelle Brasseaux of Pinnacle Leasing LLC, a Lafayette firm working with Strand.

Brasseaux described the seismic project as “massive,” and said it covers about 70,000 acres.

The exploration area, shaped roughly like a boot, includes the land between Walker Road South and La. 63, and juts east to Tickfaw State Park, Brasseaux said.

Only 173 acres of the project are in Walker, according to the permit filed with that city.

A letter sent by Pinnacle to one of the landowners says the municipalities of French Settlement and Port Vincent also have given permits for the seismic work to be conducted on their lands.

The letter to the landowner seeks the right “to image minerals” under the owner’s land.

Strand is using 3-D seismic work to help identify potential geologic targets, Airey said.

That is one of the tools that help the private Houston exploration and production firm to identify risks prior to drilling a well, he said.

The geological information created by the seismic operations is transmitted to receiving equipment on a truck, Brasseaux said.

Noise and ground vibrations from the seismic work have resulted in calls from the public in the past few days, according to a news release from the Walker Police Department.

The noise didn’t bring much attention in rural areas, but did so when work began in the Walker area, said Mark Harrell, head of the Livingston Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness.

The seismic crew has been providing his office with information each morning on where it will test that day, he said.

Ground vibrations from the work haven’t caused any significant problems so far, Harrell said.

Work will be continuing for a few more days, Brasseaux said.

In the rural areas, “the hunters will celebrate when we finish,” she said.