Several areas in North Carolina are considered to have potential to produce oil and gas. The main area is the outer Coastal Plain. It contains a relatively thick pile of sedimentary rocks including some excellent trap or reservoir rocks, but source rocks may not be present.
Seismic surveys in the Blue Ridge suggest that sedimentary rocks are deep beneath the crystalline rocks. These sediments may be similar to oil- and gas-bearing sediments in the Valley and Ridge Province. Detailed studies have not been conducted to verify the seismic surveys.
The Triassic basins have received attention from oil and gas exploration companies during recent years. Excellent source rocks are present, but the sandstones are not permeable. Fine-grained material fills pore spaces between the sand grains, preventing the migration of hydrocarbons. The Cumnock and Gulf coal beds have been studies for possible in-situ methane gas generation.