A company contacted me in regard to conducting seismic tests in a 250 Sq mile area on Harrison,Guernsey and Belmount counties. They offered $5 an acre and was wondering if this is a normal offer fromt these companies? I assume they are trying to define the "sweet spot" even further testing. Thsi is a private company called TGS. They condusct the testing then sell this information to O&G companies. any info would be appreciated

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From my experience and knowledge, I agree with everything you have been told .....except for:

"I also spoke with a representative of the Ohio Division of Wildlife today and they advised that there shouldn't be any problems with the fish and that even with charges set off directly in or on water, most often it only temporarily stuns nearby fish."

Under no circumstances would you wish to have a charge go off in the water.

The charges used generate compressional waves.

Soil is compressible; fluids (such as water) are incompressible (that is how hydraulics work, pressure on an incompressible fluid are transmitted in every direction).

Fish have a 'swim bladder'   

"swim bladder, also called air bladder,  buoyancy organ possessed by most bony fish. The swim bladder is located in the body cavity and is derived from an outpocketing of the digestive tube. It contains gas (usually oxygen) and functions as a hydrostatic, or ballast, organ, enabling the fish to maintain its depth without floating upward or sinking. It also serves as a resonating chamber to produce or receive sound. In some species the swim bladder contains oil instead of gas."

When a charge goes off in water, frequently live fish float to the surface (perhaps 5 minutes) after the charge is set off.

These fish are obviously alive .... but they are likely not stunned, their swim bladder has been ruptured. The live fish can live for an extended period of time, but they will ultimately die, as they cannot swim; they are trapped on the surface, unable to submerge (as they are unable to control their buoyancy.

Why does it take about 5 minutes for the fish to surface?

That is because the fish are not stunned, but have had their swim bladders burst, With burst swim bladders, they cannot control buoyancy ... but they can (through dint of effort) stay submerged for a while; however they eventually become exhausted by struggling through the effort to stay submerged (unable to benefit from a functional swim bladder) and float to the surface.

Charges set off away from the lake will not effect the fish,

Charges set off in the lake can have a devastating effect on the fish.

Google 'dynamite fishing'.

You can keep dynamite fish alive in a cooler for hours.

In a culinary sense, dynamite fish are not 'damaged'; they are delicious; I have enjoyed dynamite barracuda, dynamite red snapper, dynamite cat fish, dynamite grouper, etc.


To clarify a bit...  I should have chosen a word other than "charges" when referring to activity in or on the water.  In our conversation, he was referring to a fireworks type 'charge' and having an effect on fish primarily in the near vicinity of the bang but not a wide-spread damage, equating it to being more than would be experience by fish from a land charge 300 feet away..

We have a small ornamental pond in our back yard and know that breaking ice in the wintertime is discouraged due to damage that can occur to the fish (swim bladder, etc.), and thus was my concern as to a seismic charge in the vicinity.  We have a heater that keeps the ornamental pond surface from completely freezing and to prevent wintertime harm from a completely frozen top and have never broken the ice there.

I appreciate your response JS and depth of insight.  More info is certainly an advantage over less (or no) knowledge.  And I do agree with the delicious factor too (though have yet to experience it with a dynamite fish).

Now I have learned something; who says that you cannot teach an old dog a new trick!

The concussion of breaking ice on a frozen pond can burst a fish's swim bladder!

They are more fragile than I would have ever guessed.

In exchange for that bit of information, I provide the following:

It is natural to think of the explosive charged used in acquiring seismic data as being like dynamite; but there is a significant difference,

The explosive charges used in seismic acquisition are formulations that impart their energy over a very short (high velocity) duration.

This is important because of Fourier Signal Theory; the shorter something occurs in the time domain, the longer (broader) it is in the frequency domain, and the longer (broader) it is in the frequency domain the better the resolution.

we may be at the top of the food chain, but should not lose respect for the other creatures we share the planet with; we may be at the top of the food chain, but we can learn a lot about life from all that is alive. An open mind, allows us to see what to others is invisible.



I got in on this.Happy to help them in mapping out a so called river of oil below where they are now fracking.

Last year at just about this same time, Global did seismic testing in Harrison Co., OH, including my farms, and paid $10 per acre.  At that time, if I recall correctly, the Global rep. said the testing was being done for Hess Oil.

Now comes TGS again asking for permission to do seismic testing over what appears to be much the same area for only $5 per acre.  The TGS rep. said they were doing the testing for Chesapeake.  

Not sure why Global went out of business, but if they were already contracted by Hess I assume Hess was willing to pay a $10/acre rate.  I can only assume that Chesapeake continues to try and screw landowners by only authorizing TGS to pay $5/acre. 

I say "screw 'em"!

There are essentially three basic ways in which a 3D Survey is financed.


1. A proprietary survey. A client company engages a Seismic Data Acquisition contractor to shoot a survey. The client company will specify the area they wish surveyed and will typically specify the parameters they wish used (shot spacing, shot size, shot depth, receiver group spacing, etc.). The Client company will often have their instrument engineer check out the equipment prior to the start of the survey and will have a company Quality Control representative engineer/geophysicist (either a company representative or a trusted consultant) siting on the crew. The data, once acquired is the sole property of the Client company; the results of the survey can be traded or sold by the contracting Client company at any subsequent data.

Think of this as being like buying a car.

It sounds like Hess contracted to have a proprietary survey shot over an area that included Billy Bob’s farm. Now it sounds as though Chesapeake have contracted to have another proprietary survey shot over an area that includes Billy Bob’s farm; the Hess (Global) survey and the Chesapeake(TGS) survey appear to (at least) have an area of overlap that includes Billy Bob’s farm.


2). A spec survey. In a spec survey, the Seismic Data Acquisition contractor chooses to acquire the data in an area that the Seismic Data Acquisition contractor believes to be of interest to multiple companies. The Seismic Data Acquisition contractor then offers the survey for sale to any and all interested parties. Typically the survey results will be priced such that there is a price for those who subscribe prior to the commencement of shooting the survey … and another higher price to those who choose to purchase the survey after commencement of shooting the survey; in this manner, the Seismic Data Acquisition contractor hopes to obtain a sufficient number of subscribers prior to commencing the survey to at least indicate that they will ‘break even’. The lower price for pre-purchase is a ‘carrot on the stick’ to entice commitments. The rights to sell or resell) the data resides with the Seismic Data Acquisition contractor.  

Think of this as being like renting a car. 

3) A group shoot. In a group shoot, a Seismic Data Acquisition contractor offers to shoot a survey to companies who agree, in advance, to share the price of the survey. Only those companies who agree (in advance) to participate in the survey will have a right to the survey data. The survey data will not be sold to additional companies after the subscription closes; unless there is a provision for generous payment to the original subscribers.

Think of this as being like buying a share in a car; a car that you car-pool together.

The Seismic Data Acquisition industry is a ‘cut-throat’ business – companies come and go (all too often); as Graham pointed out “Global gave us $10 per acre and went out of business.”

It is unlikely that Hess had anything to do with Global deciding to offer $10/acre.

I am no fan of Chesapeake (and the way that they do business); however, it is unlikely that Chesapeake has anything to do with TGS deciding to offer $5/acre.

Each Seismic Data Acquisition contractor tends to make their own such decisions.


I would suggest that two separate O&G companies wishing to acquire data over the same area is a good sign.



TGS in Guernsey county is working for AEU....or they may be working for numerous companies...I guess depending on who has your lease......but I look at it the sooner they can get it done the sooner they will drill...and maybe we can see something out of this while we are still alive...we did not see anything from bonus as we were held by production....Enervest seen a mighty good payoff though...

I signed for $5 an acre. Talked to some folks that did the same a couple years ago and there is drilling in their area now.


Has anyone out there who has agreed to the seismic testing have any regret?  they are wanting to do it on my property in Jefferson Co Ohio.  I have had some land shifting and am hesitant.   

 I ended up agreeing to the TGS survey after they added some incentives.  Both Global and TGS did professional jobs on my farms leaving minimal sign that they had ever been present.  I have no regrets.  

When I told the Land Lady that I wouldn't let her set off charges on my land, she told me my lease with Chesapeake gave them permission to do seismic testing.

I said "Are You Chesapeake?" She said no. "Then you can't do seismic testing on my property", I replied.

She almost cried as she said "I'm Telling Chesapeake!"

Later I heard one landowner complaining that the seismic people were coming back each day to have lunch on his property which had been going on several weeks.

Yep, good decision making on my part to say no. Chesapeake already had plans to steal from me, so it really didn't matter if I allowed seismic testing or not.

A well had already been dug on the next hill over so what would they learn doing seismic that a nearby well wouldn't have told them?

OK, Geologists, I'm sure something could be learned, but it really doesn't matter any more. My NGLs are on their way to Louisiana without my permission. Woops, another Federal Law broken by Bobby.


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