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Seismic testing survey to be explained in Monongahela

| Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A public meeting will be scheduled in Monongahela to explain plans for a seismic survey in the city.

The date of the meeting will be announced shortly, but it was requested by the city council Wednesday as EQT Corp. and Cougar Land Services discussed survey plans for the city.

Doug Garrett, permit agent for Cougar Land Services, explained during city council's regular monthly meeting that his company will soon begin approaching landowners with permits to access their property for drilling related to the seismic testing. He explained that not all city properties would be involved and that the drilling would be minimal on properties involved. Owners of those properties permitted for the work would receive a stipend of $5 an acre or a minimum of $25.

Cougar Land Services is the permitting agent for EQT. The work involved will help EQT determine the most efficient way to develop natural gas reserves using the fewest number of wells.

Seismic tests produce 3-D images of the Marcellus shale layers beneath the surface. Garrett likened it to a CT scan of the shale formation.

Garrett said the company has already received permits for 380 properties in Forward Township, and will do similar testing in New Eagle, Clairton, Jefferson Hills and South Park.

Police Chief Brian Tempest said the company will need to obtain a soliciting permit before its representatives go door-to-door. The Cougar Land Services employees would receive an identification card and letter from the city notifying citizens of the company's intent.

Councilwoman Claudia Williams offered to work with EQT and Cougar Land Services when the firms provide maps of the drilling areas within the city.

“I know what an economic boon it has been in this area,” Williams said. “This drilling is keeping our economy alive.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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