Reuters, Chesapeake Energy has finally given up its fight to hold onto expired NY leases. For the past two years the gas company has been insisting that the leases should be extended beyond their initial termination date because they weren't allowed to use horizontal hydro-fracking in NY State. They pointed to the "force majeure" clause in their leases - a clause that states that the company wouldn't be held liable for not keeping the contract should a flood, hurricane, labor strike or some-such make it impossible to drill. They interpreted that to also include the state's hold on horizontal hydrofracking ... claiming that they "couldn't drill". A claim that US District Court Judge David Hurd rejected back in November.
For the past two years (and more in some cases) Chesapeake has been sending "force majeure" letters to landowners whose leases had expired. These letters claimed that the leases weren't "really" expired, and they offered new leases - with lots less money - to the landowners.
But now, after two years of legal fighting, they are ready to "walk away" from NY, says Reuters. It's not because NY is "fracking unfriendly" or "has a moratorium" - the real reason Chesapeake is tossing their cards on the table and leaving is because the legal battle is getting pricey and there are other, better places to drill. Chesapeake isn't the only player to leave the northeast; A couple weeks ago Hess Corporation and Newfield Appalachia pulled out of their leases in Wayne County, PA. It was a business decision, they told the press - better drilling elsewhere.