The Great Outdoors
North Carolina has a long heritage of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation. Oil and natural gas producers share this stewardship and will work with state and federal agencies and sporting organizations to manage our wildlife and economic interests, and ensure safe and rewarding seasons if oil and natural gas development is allowed to move forward.
North Carolina is blessed with thousands of square miles of scenic views and landscape conducive to outdoor activities - both on and off the shores of the state. Oil and natural gas development does not need to destroy this beauty and the enjoyment from North Carolina's natural resources.
Horizontal drilling, itself, minimizes the footprint of oil and natural gas extraction, by reducing the number of wellpads that need to be created. With the ability to drill horizontally up to 10,000+ feet in "horizontal displacement", the practice allows for increased distance between well pads. In some cases 1,280 acres — or about 2 miles — can separate each well pad. This distance allows for less disruption to the above ground and natural environment. Once the hydraulic fracturing operation is complete and the well is in production, the company will restore the site, following strict standards, to an area less than an acre in size. Development companies follow strict permitting, mitigation and reclamation standards and follow the state, federal and local regulations.
Similarly, offshore drill sites are not within line of sight of the shoreline, so residents and tourists can continue to enjoy the beautiful North Carolina beaches. Already stringent regulations and standards have been further tightened in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon event to prevent oil spills and to minimize the damage if a spill should occur.
In states where onshore and offshore development currently takes place, the oil and gas industry has worked with companies, non-profit organizations and government to protect the environment and minimze the impact to outdoor activities. Joint efforts to educate and work together on relevant issues leads to greater understanding and cooperative plans to benefit everyone involved. Activities as simple as notifying drillers of hunting season dates and areas, and clearly marking drilling sites have led to fewer accidents and conflicts. Communication and cooperation is key, has been successfully demonstrated in other states, and North Carolina can take advantage of these lessons learned.