Explosives gone, problems remain at Belmont County farm

BELMONT COUNTY – When Sandy Putorek discovered that a Texas company had placed 10 explosive charges on her Belmont County farm without her permission to help develop a map of Utica Shale natural gas assets, she was not pleased.

“How can they get away with this?” she asked. “How can you just put explosives on someone’s property without their permission?”

Even though Putorek said Global Geophysical Services had the explosives removed, she remains in negotiations with the company for its employees allegedly encroaching on her 30 acres of land just outside Lansing.

“They want me to sign a gag order, but I am not going to do it. They should not get away with this,” she said.

She and attorney Grace Hoffman are trying to reach an agreement with Global.

Putorek said several natural gas companies have contacted her about signing a mineral rights lease, but she has turned down the chance to gain thousands of dollars. She also signed no agreement to allow the company to test on her land.

Putorek said she contacted the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department, the Ohio attorney general’s office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and local fire department officials to see what could be done when she found the charges Aug. 7.

“Nobody knows what to do about it. It does not seem to be under anyone’s jurisdiction,” she said.

Global officials did not respond to a request for comment, but previously said they are addressing the problem with the appropriate agencies.