Landowners To Renegotiate Natural Gas Leases With Chesapeake

Chesapeake AG Leases

Lowman (WENY) -- Thursday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a substantial agreement with an energy company to give over 4,400 New York landowners the right to renegotiate their gas leases.

Some landowners have been locked into unfavorable deals because in 2009, Chesapeake decided to extend leases that were about to expire under a legal clause known as force majeure.

That will end with this agreement, which forces Chesapeake to renegotiate with landowners. Chesapeake also agreed to pay the state $250,000 to reimburse the costs of investigating.

A Chemung County landowner, Ashur Terwilliger, has been approached in the past to lease his 150 acres of farmland. He says he's holding out for the best deal.

"We want drilling here," said Terwilliger, who is the head of the Chemung County Gas Coalition. "We want this to happen, but we want it to be fair. I've always said it every seminar I've put on -- fair and equitable to the landowners and the companies. Treat us as partners. Treat us as friends."

The agreement included leases which have expired or will expire before December 31, 2013. WENY called Chesapeake for comment today, but did not hear back.