Oil & Gas Exploration

Oil and Gas Seismic Monitoring

Oil and gas exploration is the search for petroleum deposits in the ground that can be harvested. One method of exploration involves producing vibrations at the surface to create a profile of the ground below. These vibrations travel through the ground and are reflected back to the surface by changes in soil types and densities. The time it takes these vibrations to return to the surface can be measured and used to create a seismic profile of the ground. Potential gas reservoirs could be found based on changes in the time it takes a vibration to return to the surface. The equipment used to create these vibrations is called a vibroseis or seismic vibrator truck. These trucks use a large weight to produce vibration at the grounds surface. When vibroseis trucks are used in an urban environment, there can be concern that the vibrations they create will cause damage to nearby homes, buildings and other structures.

Instantel's monitoring equipment records the vibration levels created by the vibroseis trucks. When placed between an urban development and the vibroseis truck, recorded data can indicate whether any damage to the home or structure was caused by the vibrations from the oil exploration trucks. Understandably, when home or building owners feel the ground vibrations or hear their china cabinets rattle, they are lead to believe that their property is being damaged. Monitoring the vibrations created by the vibroseis trucks can be a best practice for oil and gas exploration companies to prevent liability complaints and financial penalties.

The Instantel Monitoring System




Monitoring unit with 4 available channels: three channels for recording vibration on three planes and one channel for air overpressure or noise data.



Triaxial SmartGeo

Records ground vibration in three planes: transverse, vertical and longitudinal. Does not have to be leveled when installed.


Instantel’s monitoring system combines a monitoring unit with a geophone that measures vibration levels. The Micromate® monitoring unit is light-weight and small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Recorded data can be viewed immediately on screen or saved on a connected USB thumb drive. The Micromate’s memory is limited only by the size and number of available USB drives. Recorded events can also be viewed on screen on the Micromate monitoring unit, so you can adjust the vibration levels before any damage has been caused or any concerns develop.

The SmartGeo™ from Instantel automatically levels and orients for accurate vibration readings. The SmartGeo can be installed at an angle or even upside down and it will automatically adjust its internal settings. This reduces the amount of time it takes to level the geophone each time it is installed at a new location. All you have to do is ensure that the arrow is pointing in the direction of the vibroseis trucks. Then as the vibroseis trucks travel along their planned route, the SmartGeos can be quickly moved and installed in the next location.

Using THOR™, Instantel’s desktop software, you can download, print and store event data. THOR allows you to sort event data into projects that you configure. Projects can be set based on locations, cities or any other criteria you choose. That way you can maintain an historical record of the event data in order to protect you from future claims and liability.

Instantel’s equipment is light weight and easy to install. Our equipment is rugged and reliable – it can handle anything you can throw at it.

Learn more about Instantel's solutions for oil & gas exploration.

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