Natural Gas

Business & Economy
12:15 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

PSNC Considers Historic Barns, Gravesites In New Pipeline Route

PSNC is considering routes to extend a natural gas pipeline in Wake and Franklin Counties.
Credit Harald Hoyer / Creative Commons

PSNC Energy is taking feedback from property owners about plans to lay a natural gas pipeline. The company wants to extend an existing transmission line from Northern Wake County into Eastern Franklin County and south to Zebulon.

PSNC Spokeswoman Angela Townsend said the company is working to keep up with anticipated population growth in the area. She did not comment on the projected increase of customers or pipeline capacity. Townsend said the extension would be up to 29 miles long.

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Environment
8:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

North Carolina’s Rules On Fracking To Be Completed This Year, Well Permits To Be Issued Next Year

A drilling site in Rio Blanco and Garfield counties, CO.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service via Flickr

The commission that’s writing North Carolina’s rules on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or fracking, is getting ready to present its recommendations to the General Assembly. The Mining and Energy Commission has been working since Sept. 2012, and today will debate the last eight rules it is preparing.

A few people like Sharon Garbutt have been following the Mining and Energy Commission. Garbutt has been volunteering to take children on field trips to the Haw River for 20 years. Most of the time, the kids love it.

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Environment
8:56 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Some Energy Speculators Drop Drilling Leases In Lee County

North Carolina has not yet allowed drilling for natural gas in its Triassic shale basins.
Credit NC DENR

Energy speculators snapped up natural gas drilling leases over Lee County's Triassic shale in a frenzy in 2009. But some energy speculators have begun relinquishing their claims.

In February, Denver-based WhitMar Exploration walked away from a leasing agreement for more than 2,700 acres. That's according to records at the Lee County Register of Deeds.

WhitMar declined to comment to WUNC, but told other media outlets that North Carolina is moving too slowly on hydraulic fracturing.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Duke And Piedmont Want Another Gas Pipeline

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are asking for proposals to build and operate another major natural gas pipeline into North Carolina.
Credit Harald Hoyer / Creative Commons

Two major energy companies want to build a second natural gas pipeline into North Carolina.

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are soliciting proposals for a pipeline that could carry 900 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Duke is shifting a significant portion of its energy portfolio from coal into natural gas. Piedmont transports gas for both companies via the Transco line from the Texas gulf.

Piedmont spokesman David Trusty said production was interrupted after Hurricane Katrina. He says the companies want to be able to diversify their natural gas sources.

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Politics & Government
8:33 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Fracking Commission Seeks To Cut Water Contamination Liability For Drilling Companies

A rig and gas well operation on the Marcellus Shale in Scott Township, Pennsylvania.
Credit WCN247 via Flickr

The head of the commission appointed to write North Carolina’s rules for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas asked lawmakers Tuesday to halve the area for which drilling companies would be responsible in case of water contamination.

James Womack, chairman of the state’s Energy and Mining Commission, asked that drilling companies be held liable for contamination up to 2,500 feet from excavation sites. Under Senate Law 143, which was signed in 2012, mining companies are liable up to 5,000 ft.

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Environment
10:05 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Duke Study Finds Contamination At PA Fracking Site

A rig and gas well operation at the Marcellus Shale in PA
Credit wcn 247 / Flickr

Groundwater and sediment from a natural gas fracking treatment site in Pennsylvania is contaminated with chemicals and radioactivity.

That's the finding of a new study at Duke University. Researchers examined the quality of shale gas wastewater from hydraulic fracturing in the stream water above and below a disposal site about an hour east of Pittsburgh. 

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Science & Technology
9:26 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Connecting Hog Farms To Pipelines Could Streamline Methane Gas Energy

A new study looks at generating energy from hog waste.
Credit Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

Researchers at Duke University say they have shed more light on the prospects of using hog waste to produce energy. 

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The State of Things
1:10 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

What Is The Future Of Fracking In North Carolina?

A drill rig on a fracking site.
Credit EPA

A panel of guests discusses fracking in North Carolina with host Frank Stasio.

The natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has been a source of debate and contention in the state for quite some time now. It involves drilling horizontally through thousands of feet of shale and blasting the shale with water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas. Several states allow the process, some are in the process of figuring out how to regulate it, and some, like New York, have placed a moratorium on the process due to environmental concerns.

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Fracking North Carolina
5:00 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: What Do We Do With The Waste?

Ed Harris on his farm in Lee County.
Credit Richard Ziglar

The price of natural gas has fallen to all time lows and is replacing dirtier fuels like coal.  So why are environmentalists so concerned about drilling for natural gas here in North Carolina?  The process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to release the gas from the surrounding shale rock brings with it its own environmental problems including massive amounts of wastewater. This is the second story in our “Fracking North Carolina” series.

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Fracking North Carolina
7:33 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: Why Now?

Butler #3 natural gas well in Lee County.
Credit Ray Covington

In the first story in our Fracking North Carolina series, Richard Ziglar looks at why some people in North Carolina want to drill for gas now, and what it may mean for the state.

North Carolina has never been a player in natural gas production, but that could change thanks to a new extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fracking involves cracking shale rock to release natural gas so that it can be pumped out of the ground. This story is the first in a special “Fracking North Carolina” series. 

There’s a North Carolina sound that only a few dozen people have ever heard: gas escaping from a well in Lee County.

Standing in front of a well called Butler #3, you can see that it’s a shut-in well, which means it’s been capped with something called a “Christmas tree.” The Christmas tree is only about five feet tall; it’s painted green and it has three shut-off valves coming out of it. It’s set up this way so people can come back and attach pipes to it, but it has been shut off since the 1990s.

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