Seismic survey testing this weekend is exploring whether there's oil and natural gas beneath the main campus of Texas A&M University — though it is unclear whether drilling would ever be allowed.
Sensors are in place around the College Station campus, and testing is set to take place through Monday, the (Bryan-College Station) Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1p2Lqac).
According to a memo sent to administrators, faculty, students and the rest of the university community, the process entails trucks driving around campus and sending vibrations into the ground that will reflect back to receivers. The receivers store data that can be used to determine what kind of minerals are present in the soil.
Testing will not be done in areas considered sensitive, including near buildings or where vibrations could affect ongoing research.
Seismic surveying company Seitel Data is performing the testing. It will pay the university system US$ 25 per acre for all of its lands in Brazos and Burleson counties, regardless of whether testing occurs on it or not.
The testing comes after the Texas Legislature approved a 2013 law modifying the language in the Education Code that prohibits Texas A&M from granting, selling or leasing lands and mineral interests without legislative approval.
Gina Joseph, assistant general counsel for the Texas A&M University System, said schedules are still being worked out, but the university is issuing 180-day thesis permits for the testing, which includes hazard surveys before testing occurs. That means taking video of sites before testing and submitting plans, and Seitel also must carry insurance to cover any and all damages to infrastructure that might occur.
Less clear, however, is what happens when the tests are finished and the system has determined where oil might be.
A&M system spokesman Steve Moore did not say whether the university would entertain notions of drilling on campus.
"Each circumstance would be different, so it would depend," Moore told the Eagle. "That's why, when this information becomes available and when it comes down to where actual drilling might take place, that would be another negotiation."
The original version of this story is available here.
Adapted from a press release by David Bizley
Read the article online at: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/exploration/23062014/seismic_survey_at_texas_am_university/