HOUSTON - A small radioactive cylinder that went missing from a Halliburton Co. truck last month was found on a Texas road late Thursday, the company said, ending a weeks-long hunt that involved local, state and federal authorities.
The seven-inch stainless steel tube, which contained a small amount of radioactive material, was lost by an oil-and-gas crew somewhere along the 130-mile journey from the vicinity of Pecos to Odessa, in West Texas.
A Halliburton spokesman said Friday that the device was found late Thursday on a road in Reeves County used by oilfield services companies to get to and from well locations. The company first reported it missing to the state health department on Sept. 11, according to another report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
State officials, company inspectors and members of a Texas National Guard unit had combed the area for the device, which is used in the process of measuring and evaluating conditions within oil and gas wells.
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said an oilfield pumper saw the device and recognized it from fliers that had been passed out in the area. The road had been graded, and the device was lying on the ground, according to a news release from the Midland County Sheriff's Department.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission report stated that the tube was a "category 3" radioactive device, a class that includes some pacemakers.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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