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2 firms seek NC approval to test offshore oil, gas deposits

RALEIGH — Two companies are seeking approval to be the first to blast the Atlantic Ocean’s bottom with sound waves to find oil and gas deposits.

North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday one of the two companies starting the approval process for seismic testing wants to start as early as this spring.

The agency says Spectrum Geo Inc. and GX Technology are seeking a state determination that their work is consistent with coastline protection regulations. The state’s decision is needed before pursuing the federal permit required to start tests involving powerful airgun blasts more than two miles offshore.

The Obama administration announced plans this week to allow drilling for oil and gas off the southeastern coast including near the states of North Carolina and Virginia.

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