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Release: Immediate
Date: June 6, 2012
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Contact: Diana Kees
email: diana.kees@ncdenr.gov
Phone: 919-707-8626

Statement on Release of U.S. Geological Survey Assessment of North Carolina Oil and Gas Resources


On June 5, 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released its assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources for five East Coast Mesozoic basins. Its assessment was released in a fact sheet entitled: “Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the East Coast Mesozoic Basins of the Piedmont, Blue Ridge Thrust Belt, Atlantic Coastal Plain, and New England Provinces, 2011” -- FS 2012-3075. This fact sheet, which includes an assessment of the North Carolina oil and gas resource, can be found on the USGS website at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2012/3075/fs2012-3075.pdf

Dr. Kenneth Taylor, chief of the N.C. Geological Survey, has the following statement in regard to the USGS characterization of North Carolina oil and gas resource:

“Using a geology-based assessment method, the USGS estimates the mean undiscovered natural gas resources in the Deep River Basin in North Carolina to be 1,660 billion cubic feet of gas and 83 million barrels of natural gas liquids. Based on the 2010 average daily natural gas consumption volume in North Carolina of 811 million cubic feet per day, the USGS mean estimate of 1.66 trillion cubic feet could meet the state’s natural gas demand for 5.6 years. 

“For the Dan River-Danville Basin, the mean undiscovered resources are 49 billion cubic feet of gas and no natural gas liquids. The USGS assessment combined both the North Carolina and Virginia portions to calculate one estimate for the entire basin. Based on the 2010 average daily natural gas consumption volume in North Carolina of 811 million cubic feet per day, the USGS mean estimate of 49 billion cubic feet could meet the state’s natural gas demand for 60 days.”

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