DURHAM, NC -- A national builder is selling hundreds of just-finished North Carolina homes while keeping the underground mineral rights as interest in drilling for natural gas deposits builds.
The Herald-Sun of Durham reports the practice by Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. raises the specter that gas deposits hundreds of feet under the homes could be tapped using a controversial drilling technique called fracking. Company officials could not be reached for comment.
Durham real estate attorney Carey Ewing says she's concerned about re-sale values of the homes lacking mineral rights if North Carolina legalizes fracking.
For the past two years, D.R. Horton has transferred the right to drill, mine, and explore for minerals below lots in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill and other Triangle-area cities to its Colorado-based energy subsidiary.