Seismic Line Data Release to Spur Additional Oil Exploration

Seismic Map

The ISGS has acquired a new 120-mile-long seismic reflection survey across central Illinois as part of a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored research project to characterize reservoir rocks for geologic sequestration of CO2. The continuous east-west line extends from Meredosia to southwestern Champaign County (see accompanying map) and is the only seismic line known to have been collected in that region of Illinois.

Seismic data were collected and processed for the ISGS by WesternGeco, a division of Schlumberger, to characterize the properties and thicknesses of sedimentary rocks that overlie granitic basement. These data were originally acquired to evaluate areas suitable for large-scale sequestration (storage) of CO2 produced by electric-generating plants and industrial processes such as biofuel production. However, the seismic reflection data are also suitable for the exploration of oil and gas.

Because these data provided a strong basis for petroleum exploration, the ISGS discussed and distributed the data to all interested parties at the headquarters of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association. Persons present received a USB drive containing PDF-format copies of the seismic data as well as SEG-Y-formatted data at no charge. Registration for the data release event was required via the ISGS website, and data recipients were required to sign a release of liability to receive the data requests via U.S. Postal Service mailings.