The first-ever 3D seismic surveys in Jamaica’s offshore are set to begin next month as the search for oil and gas intensifies.
The marine survey will be conducted over a 2,250-square-kilometre area within the Walton Morant Block, south of Jamaica, by the international firm Tullow Oil.
According to the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), this will be the most advanced and detailed data investigations ever undertaken in Jamaica’s offshore.
The researchers will utilise a sound-based method which will generate detailed 3D images of rock layers beneath the sea floor, which will be analysed to identify potential oil and gas reservoirs.
The data-gathering exercise will be carried out by marine geophysical company Polarcus. The work is expected to last approximately 50 days and then the processing of the data collected will take between six and 12 months. Interpretation of the 3D data will then follow.
3D over 2D
The 3D seismic work has been commissioned based on encouraging results from two rounds of 2D surveys conducted over the last two years. In comparison to the 2D surveys, the 3D work will zoom in on smaller sections of the subsurface, providing more coverage of the survey area, and the findings should definitively influence any decisions to drill.
In preparation for the surveys, the PCJ and Tullow hosted a stakeholders meeting with representatives of key entities including the Fisheries Division, Jamaica Fishermen Cooperative Union and the National Environment and Planning Agency.
The meeting provided the stakeholders with an overview of all previous activities and outlined the activities to be carried out as part of the survey, as well as an opportunity to have any questions or concerns addressed.
Among the measures outlined to ensure the safety of the environment as well as marine life and users are the establishment of exclusion zones to protect sea users