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2012 DENR Shale Gas Study
Session Law 2011-276 required DENR, in cooperation with the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Attorney General’s Office and Rural Advancement Foundation International, to conduct a study of the potential development of shale gas in North Carolina and make recommendations regarding the regulatory framework necessary for development of this resource. The study was required to address:
This study was presented to the General Assembly on May 1, 2012.
Impacts on Landowners and Consumer Protection Issues - N.C. Department of Justice
*Addendum to North Carolina Oil and Gas Study under Session Law 2011-276
Recently, 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.
In reviewing the USGS’s assessment, DENR staff realized that in DENR’s report, North Carolina Oil and Gas Study under Session Law 2011-276, staff had used certain technical terms relating to the shale gas resource differently than the USGS uses these terms. In order to minimize confusion and to be consistent with USGS terminology, DENR has made changes to the language used in the North Carolina Oil and Gas Study under Session Law 2011-276.These changes affect pages 28 through 31 of the report, and only affect the terms “technically recoverable gas” and “original gas-in-place.”
Four public meetings on this issue were held in the Triassic Basin during the course of the study. The first public hearing took place on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in Sanford. During this initial meeting, the draft plan of study was presented; the STRONGER process was discussed; and public comment was received as to how the study should be conducted.
In addition to comment received at the Oct. 10 public meeting, written comment on the draft outline of the study was accepted through Oct. 18.
Three additional public meetings took place in March and early April to discuss the draft report concluding the study. Draft findings and recommendations from the report were presented in public meetings held in Sanford, Chapel Hill and at Fearrington Village in Chatham County.
The same information was presented at all three meetings, and public comments were accepted at both meetings as well as via mail and email through April 2.
As one piece of the state’s shale gas study, DENR requested a nonprofit organization called State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER) to perform a review of North Carolina’s oil and gas regulatory programs. The STRONGER review process brought together representatives from the state, the oil and gas industry, and public interest stakeholders to evaluate the state’s regulatory programs against STRONGER’s set of national guidelines. STRONGER’s review panel met in late October to gather information about the state’s processes, and issued a report in late February 2012.