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Westmoreland

Seismic testing company wants its missing devices back; they have tracking capability

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 12:49 p.m.
Geophysicist Todd Folckler holds up one of the seismic testing nodes used by Geokinetics.
File photo
Geophysicist Todd Folckler holds up one of the seismic testing nodes used by Geokinetics.

A Texas company is seeking to recover several seismic testing nodes that have been “moved or picked up” in recent weeks.

But just in case that doesn't happen, officials from Houston-based Geokinetics noted that each device has tracking capabilities, allowing its location to be monitored.

Geokinetics is conducting seismic surveys as part of a contract with Monroeville drillers Huntley & Huntley and is asking anyone who “may have moved or picked up” any of the devices to return them to offices in Trafford or Monroeville by March 26 — no questions asked.

The company's goal, according to a news release issued Wednesday, is to recover as many of the devices as possible voluntarily. Nine of the devices were reported stolen from the Manorvue Court area of Murrysville earlier this month. Nodes have gone missing from several other locations as well, although Geokinetics officials declined to provide specifics.

The nodes are valued at around $1,500 each, and Geokinetics has agreements with several local towns to place the nodes along public rights of way, which typically extend several feet from each side of the roadway.

“That is the strip of land that we are permitted to access to place the nodes,” said Keith Stevens, operations supervisor for Geokinetics. “We also have agreements with residents to place the devices directly on their property, beyond the limitations of the right of way. We urge people to leave these nodes alone, but it is clear some of them have been compromised, and we want to retrieve them with the cooperation of our neighbors.”

Pennsylvania law prohibits tampering with items place in a right of way, and removing the nodes is considered felony theft.

Huntley and Geokinetics officials also have taken additional security measures to monitor the potential loss of nodes associated with their current seismic survey.

After March 26, “we will take additional steps ... in our efforts to recover the missing devices,” Stevens said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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