Natural Gas Future Looks Bright for North Carolina

More than 20 years after beginning to collect geological data in North Carolina, Jeffrey Reid, senior geologist of the North Carolina Geological Survey, says his years of research indicate a strong likelihood of recovering natural gas in the state – a state considered to have no sedimentary basins in the past.

north carolina oil and gasIn the American Oil & Gas Reporter’s August issue, Reid says the reason they are just now discovering natural gas possibilities in North Carolina, is that in the past, the focus had been on coalbed methane or oil exploration, and that most of the wells had been drilled too shallow because of poor seismic data.

In the past 75 years or so, 128 petroleum exploration wells have been drilled in North Carolina, none of them commercial, according to a report produced by the North Carolina Geological Survey in March 2009.

Reid also said in the article that the next step the state will have to accomplish is to update the oil and gas laws that date back to 1945 and don’t permit recent drilling innovations like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

Interestingly, North Carolina News Observer staff writer John Murawski wrote an article about the natural gas potential in the Lee, Chatham, Durham and Wake counties in April 2010 confirming Reid’s data.

Murawski wrote, “Geologists estimate the formations cover nearly 1,400 square miles and could contain enough natural gas to supply the state’s energy needs for about 40 years at current levels of usage. North Carolina relies heavily on natural gas to run electric power plants, to fuel industrial operations and to heat homes and offices.”

His article also discusses realities of changing the oil and gas laws, dealing with land acquisition and exploration wells and reactions of locals and state officials of these recent findings.

Read the whole article here.

To those of you in the coastal state, are these assessments accurate? What does the future of natural gas look like for North Carolina from your perspective?


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