Gas Drilling Giant Gives Up Fight With Ny

08.08.13 | Bob Price

Chesapeake Energy has given up a two- year legal fight to retain thousands of acres of natural gas drilling in New York State.The company held the gas rights to nearly 230 thousand acres across eight counties in the Finger Lakes region, including Cayuga, Livingston, Steuben, Ontario and Chemung. Ashur Terwilliger, head of the Chemung County Natural Gas Coalition says the settlement would be a major win for the landowners who battled the company in court over lease extension. He says this could allow those landowners to renegotiate new deals with other drillers at a higher rate, if New York State eventually ends a five-year fracking ban.But Terwilliger says it may be too late to lift the moratorium. "It gives landowners a chance to renegotiate a better contract if we haven't driven them away...Chesapeake has pulled out..most of the companies have pulled out of New York State," he says. The company, like many other firms attracted to the Marcellus Shale, hoped for fracking in New York until a 2008 moratorium was imposed while an environmental study was conducted to determine the impacts of the controversial gas extraction technique.That ban remains in place while Governor Andrew Cuomo considers the health impacts of fracking.The decision on the lawsuit is expected to be finalized next week.