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Barbecue celebrates potential for NC natural gas

Posted March 26, 2011

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— There was something prehistoric about a barbecue in Sanford Saturday.

It was fueled by natural gas formed millennia ago in the North Carolina soil.

Geologists say that organic shale hints at natural gas deposits beneath the pine-studded landscapes of the state's Piedmont region.

"We're looking at sediments that were deposited by streams and rivers about 228 million years ago, just before the advent of the dinosaurs," said Paul Olsen, an earth sciences professor at Columbia University and a research associate at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

A survey of Chatham County showed the potential for natural gas there is high, Olsen said.

"There are signs that there are significant and commercial accumulations," he said. "The first thing you look do is look for the right type of rocks, and the right type of rocks are already there."

sanford bbq Barbecue celebrates potential for NC natural gas

Patterson Exploration Services operates North Carolina's only natural gas well in Sanford. The well is nearly 3,000 feet and struck gas at 1,800 feet.

That gas fueled the celebratory barbecue in Sanford Saturday.

"That's where the gas is right now we're using to cook the pig," said Kenneth Taylor, a geologist with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Taylor said the natural gas deposits in the Piedmont could help quench the state's thirst for energy.

"There's potential for gas for several years for North Carolina within this basin," he said. 

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  • hermanhusband Mar 31, 2011

    Yes, we could take a risk and ruin our aquifer to pump out a few years worth of gas. we could also risk filling our landfills and sewage plants with used drilling lubricants to garner some extra b-b-cue, while polluting our creeks and reservoirs.

    In fact, we could even garner some quick energy by simply cutting down all the trees in Chatham County, and everyone could crank up their b-b-cue's and we'd all have free Heat, today, for the last nips of winter, capped appropriately by April Fools Day.

    I've been too conservative.. What we should do, is to prostitute our children as sex slaves... No! Better yet, actually sell them outright. Rich Saudi princes would love to add a willing young american daughter to their Harem... at a bargain price...

    Our Birthright.

    Our Environment. Our Quality of Life. Our natural surroundings. These are our shared birthright, just as is b-b-cue.

    I say, "tread carefully on our b-b-cue mr. drill man, lest you get burned by your own spin"

  • wdprice3 Mar 28, 2011

    Hey, WRAL, you should know better. BBQ = food in this state. It is not a verb, it is not a grill, it is food.

  • BumpyKnuckles Mar 28, 2011

    Quite possibly the most idiotic thing you could do in the Piedmont. As many people that still use well water, you run the risk of contaminating the ground water due to method of retrieving the gas. Look up fracking....not exactly the cleanest method to extract something from the ground.

    Agreed fracking is not good. Besides its BLASPHEMY to use gas of any type for BBQ. Its charcoal or hardwood and nothing else.

  • jas1022 Mar 28, 2011

    Quite possibly the most idiotic thing you could do in the Piedmont. As many people that still use well water, you run the risk of contaminating the ground water due to method of retrieving the gas. Look up fracking....not exactly the cleanest method to extract something from the ground.