Hundreds of landowners released from leases with gas company

By Conor Mooney

Hundreds of landowners released from leases with gas company

September 9, 2013 Updated Sep 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) More than 200 landowners in the Southern Tier are free of their leases with Chesapeake Energy and Statoilhydro, according to officials from Levene, Goulden and Thompson.

The announcement came after a two-year legal battle.

The company had leased land in the Southern Tier at low prices before the Marcellus Shale became valuable with the advent of high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

According to officials at LGT, landowners were granted a motion for summary judgement in November, and the oil and gas leases were terminated.

Chesapeake Energy appealed, saying the state's ban on hydraulic fracturing essentially continued the leases -- at the low prices -- automatically.

The landowners also appealed a portion that denied unfair business practice claims.

Chesapeake Energy agreed to drop the appeal in exchange for a complete release of the leases, which totals more than 13,000 acres.