RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Property records recently released by Lee County show owners of 365 parcels of land don't also own the rights to drill or mine under their property.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports (http://bit.ly/12V4URK ) that means those owners won't be able to profit if a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing if lifted.
Companies use the method, which is also called fracking, to mine natural gas. Geologists think a large pocket of natural gas may be trapped in prehistoric rocks deep under Lee County's soil.
Richard Harrison bought 60 acres in Lee County in the mid-1990s. But the mineral rights had been sold two decades earlier for just over $8,100.
He says he feels like he bought a car and found out someone else owns the engine.