Due to a state law passed in 2012, fracking is prohibited until 2015 when it is expected that drilling regulations will be finalized. Despite this, a new drilling company based in Texas, known as Tar Heel Triassic Resources is already making plans to conduct seismic testing in Lee County. There are however concerns that the financial instability of one of the board members at Tar Heel Triassic Resources may encourage fracking opponents in the area.
Tar Heel Triassic Resources is a relatively unknown group in drilling circles and records show that it is not a registered corporation in North Carolina. In fact, the board of directors include Texas residents, Alex Alexandrou and Phil Barnett. Both Alexandrou and Barnet have interests in gas companies in Texas. Federal Court records indicate that Barnet filed for Bankruptcy in 2005 and there were accusations by a court trustee that he misrepresented his financial records.
Although preliminary estimates indicate that there is enough oil to power North Carolina for another five years, fears are surfacing among fracking opponents that the limited supply of gas may attract unstable drilling companies.