Business & Economy
6:22 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Business Plans To Scale Back Natural Gas Research In Lee County

A farm in Lee County
Credit Donald Lee Pardue via Flickr

An energy company that’s exploring the potential for natural gas drilling in North Carolina is scaling back research efforts in Lee County. 

 Triassic Energy Resources, owned by Dallas businessman Phil Barnett, had been planning on taking below-ground ultrasound images of Lee County as part of a process that could lead to gas production through drilling processes including fracking. 

 But Barnett said Thursday his company does not yet have enough information for seismic testing, and that tests scheduled for December and January had been canceled. He says he has hired scientists to review data publicly available from the North Carolina Geologic Survey. 

 "Frankly, at this stage, it’s just some pretty boring kind of library research," Barnett says. "And then [we’re] turning that over to other PhD researchers to see if they can tell us what it means."

 Barnett says he doesn’t expect field testing for at least a year. Some studies have indicated Lee County could be a source of natural gas.