State Senate committee votes to allow fracking in North Carolina

Companies could begin fracking existing oil and gas wells in North Carolina as early as 2015.

On February 21, the North Carolina Senate's Commerce Committee approved a bill that would lift a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." Under the legislation, companies would be allowed to begin using the controversial extraction technique on in-state oil and gas wells in 2015.

Republican Senator E.S. "Buck" Newton – lead sponsor of the proposal to lift the fracking moratorium –  told the Raleigh News and Observer that he expects the measure to be taken up by the full Senate as early as next week.

The potential economic benefits that could come from allowing fracking are a major factor driving state lawmakers to embrace the practice. Senator Newton has claimed that authorizing the practice would have an immediate impact in certain sectors, bringing a boost to hotels, engineering firms and trucking companies in particular.

According to estimates produced in 2012 by the U.S. Geological Survey, North Carolina could have as much as 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. The development of these reserves could benefit the state economy considerably, although with an expanding supply holding down domestic gas prices, energy companies will be under pressure to maintain high levels of efficiency in their operations to ensure that exploration and production activities remain both profitable and sustainable.

The quality of oilfield equipment is a major factor in this area, with the use of hydraulic lift equipment being one of the most effective ways for producers to achieve maximum output from their wells. Installing an oil jet pump can be particularly helpful for companies looking to keep production levels high while guaranteeing that operations run smoothly and safely.