Companies End Fight to Extend New York Leases

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and lease partner StatoilHydro have reportedly agreed to end a two-year legal battle to extend 200 natural gas drilling leases covering approximately 13,000 acres in southern New York, near the Pennsylvania border.  In a settlement announced on September 9, 2013, the companies agreed to drop the appeal of a November 2012 federal district court ruling in Aukema v. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, which found that New York’s moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing was not a force majeure event capable of unilaterally extending the leases.  New York officials recently told a state legislative committee that there is still no timeframe for a decision on whether to lift the moratorium.