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A recent Commonwealth Court order, issued January 31, states that Hopewell Township officials cannot direct local residents to "remove, destroy or prohibit" Seitel Data Ltd.’s receivers – or geophones – in the right of way, reported the Beaver County Times, a local daily newspaper in western Pennsylvania.

Seitel Inc. has been working in Beaver and Allegheny counties for the past year conducting seismic testing, specifically a 157-square-mile 3-D surveying project. The project creates a map of subterranean rock lawyers. The information is then sold to oil and gas companies, who use the information in an effort to determine the best areas to drill for oil and gas.

Shawn Gallagher noted that when it comes to what constitutes the "right of way," Seitel is "…permitted by Section 459 of the Pennsylvania code, which deals with seismic activity by the vibroseis method, regarding occupancy of highways by utilities. Highway is defined as roads and rights of way."

"Seitel hopes to conduct and complete its operations in the area without any further incident now that the Commonwealth Court has made it clear that we can place our equipment within the rights of way," Gallagher told the publication. He also noted that the ongoing court cases have prolonged Seitel’s operations, which were scheduled to be completed last November. 

Read the full article – "Court Order Blocks Hopewell Officials from Interfering in Seismic Testing" (Beaver County Times, February 11, 2014)