Local News

Black Gold in North Carolina?

Posted June 16, 1998

— A Virginia oil company has staked out a claim near the Lee-Chatham county line.

The company plans to set up rigs for exploratory drilling. This search for fossil fuels is not the first time our state has been mined. A coal mine was opened back in the 1920's.

The oil exploration will take place near Route 421, north of Sanford.

"I'm shocked, I've never heard of oil in this part of the state," Sanford resident Ivanova Helf said. "Maybe Texas or somewhere else, but not over here."

The company said that it is still too early to tell if the site holds oil or natural gas, and a leading geologist in the state said that the chances are not good.

"There are no producing wells in North Carolina at this time," geologist Dr. Jeffrey Reid said. "Some of the wells that were drilled in the past were along the North Carolina coast, and there has been no production. Those were 40-to-50 years ago."

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