If you're thinking of the mounds of cash to be made by letting an energy company drill for natural gas beneath your land, you better be lawyered up and with luck on your side.
Leasing your mineral rights is booby-trapped with legal risks and could result in expensive bills to clean up a mess left behind by a gas exploration concern that goes bankrupt.
Ted Feitshans, an N.C. State University professor and the state's leading authority on mineral rights, on Tuesday laid out the risks involved in signing contracts with energy exploration companies eager to get at natural gas deposits trapped in the state's prehistoric rock formations.
Feitshans made his presentation to about 80 people at the Chatham County Agriculture building in Pittsboro. Chatham County, along with Lee and Moore counties, are believed to be the epicenter of natural gas deposits that could meet the state's demand for four decades.