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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Companies Pull Out of Leases in Delaware River Basin; Landowners Miss Out on Nearly $200 Million

The two major companies that had sought to drill for natural gas in northeastern Pennsylvania within the Delaware River Basin are pulling out, nixing $187.5 million in lease payments that landowners had hoped to get. 
Landowners and businesses in Wayne County who had leased more than 100,000 acres to the companies in 2009 began receiving notices late last week that the leases they had with Newfield Appalachia PA L.L.C. and Hess Corp. were being terminated. 
A spokesman for the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance said he felt certain the companies did so because of the regulatory "uncertainty" in the basin, which has been under a drilling moratorium since 2010. 
However, a Newfield spokesman said that the action was a business decision related to the current low price of natural gas, and that the company was switching its focus to oil production.
Read the whole article here.

While the company claims its simply a shift in focus that motivated the cancellation of leases, it is obvious that the moratorium by the DRBC was a key factor.  And activists like Josh Fox are rejoicing.

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