Environmental Baseline Monitoring in the Area of General Crude Oil Department of Energy Pleasant Bayou Number 1, Vol 1 & 3




Gustavson, Thomas C.

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A program to monitor baseline air and water quality, subsidence, microseismic activity, and noise in the vicinity of the Brazoria County geopressured-geothermal test well, Pleasant Bayou #1 and #2, has been underway since March 1978 (fig. 1). The findings of certain portions of the work, including the results of an initial first-order leveling survey completed by Teledyne Geotronics, a preliminary noise survey completed by Radian Corporation, a preliminary microseismicity survey completed by Teledyne Geotech, and an archeological survey of the site completed by Texas A&M University have been reported earlier and will not be repeated here. The following report contains a description of baseline air and water quality of the test well site, a noise survey, an inventory of microseismic activity including interpretations of the origin of the events, and a discussion of progress in the installation of a liquid tilt meter at the test well site. In addition, the first-order leveling survey recently completed by the National Geodetic Survey is briefly discussed. This survey has allowed the calculation of local baseline subsidence rates.

On the basis of analyses of geopressured-geothermal resources by Bebout and others (1975a and b, 1976, 1978), a series of geothermal fairways were recognized within the Frio Formation along the Texas Gulf Coast. From the group of Frio Formation fairways, the Brazoria County fairway was determined to be the most suitable for testing because the permeabilities of the reservoir rocks containing the resource were higher here than the reservoir-rock permeabilities in all other known geothermal fairways in the Texas Gulf Coast. On this basis, the Department of Energy-General Crude Oil Corporation Pleasant Bayou III well was spudded in July 1978.


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