The Latest on Norse Energy and the Force Majeure Claim

Norse Energy went bankrupt and its assets (which are primarily its leases) were assigned to a trustee. Back in April, the trustee for Norse sold the majority of Norse’s NYS gas leases to the hedge fund Mason Capital Management, pursuant to bankruptcy court action. To offer some clarification on how this may impact those of you with formerly Norse leases: this sale does not affect the validity of the force majeure claim that Norse made to extend its NYS leases. Check out today’s Fleased News for more details!


How to Determine if a Permit Application Involving Your Land is on File

How to Determine if a Permit Application Involving Your Land is on File

Early this year, an Ohio court ruled that filing for a permit constituted “operations” sufficient enough to extend a Chesapeake Appalachia lease past its primary term. Since learning of this, we at Fleased did a bit of digging on the DEC’s Oil & Gas Searchable Database and discovered that NY has 67 outstanding permit applications for gas development in the Marcellus Shale and 14 for the Utica Shale. If a similar case were raised in NY and won by the gas company, these permit applications could be used as cause for lease extension…To read more, check out our latest Fleased News!

New Database Houses Over 270 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Shale Gas Development

Fleased NY would like to share a fantastic new resource: an ever-evolving searchable citation database of peer-reviewed studies on the subject of shale gas and tight oil development that has been created and is maintained by Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE). PSE’s database is a valuable resource for the media, lessors, legislators, government officials, farmers, academics and activists alike.

The science on the environmental public health aspects of shale gas development is still in its infancy. Over half of the peer-reviewed studies on this topic have been published in the past year. We at Fleased feel that the cautious approach to deciding whether or not to allow “fracking,” being taken by New York State and Governor Cuomo, makes sense given this rapidly evolving science.

PSE’s database aims to include all relevant articles, and is not edited to support any one point of view. Moreover, despite crucial gaps in data, the developing science strongly suggests the potential for harm, both to the environment and to public health.

Regularly updated as new studies are published, the database covers topics ranging from air quality to economics. However, as PSE’s article standards are high, it contains only texts that are peer-reviewed. Other publications, such as reports and conference proceedings that may still be useful to examine, can be found in Bucknell University’s Marcellus Shale Initiative Publications Database.

Both databases are open to the public and each covers topics that the other does not. If you have any questions or trouble navigating them, please feel free to contact Fleased at

New study by RFF links housing market impacts to shale gas development

Resources for the Future, an American nonprofit organization that conducts independent research into environmental, energy, and natural resource issues, released a report on December 20  2013 titled “The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development.” The abstract of the article can be read below, and a copy of the text can be found here as well as under “additional resources” on our resource page.

Abstract: Using data from New York and Pennsylvania and an array of empirical techniques to control for confounding factors, we recover hedonic estimates of property value impacts from shale gas development that vary with geographic scale and water sources. Results indicate large negative impacts on nearby groundwater-dependent homes, while piped water-dependent homes are positively impacted by proximity (although by a smaller amount), suggesting an impact of lease payments. At a broader geographic scale, we find evidence that new wellbores can increase property values, but these effects diminish over time. Undrilled permits, conversely, may cause property values to decrease.

Cornell University Library to permanently archive

The Cornell University Library recently let us know they are permanently archiving our website.

“To ensure that this important trove of information is available to future generations of scholars, the Cornell University Library is creating a permanent archive of the web sites concerned with the issue of hydraulic fracturing in New York.”
Archived version(s) of will be available at

Developers hold on to mineral rights, unbeknownst to buyers

Reuters recently investigated homeowners and developers that have been increasingly holding on to mineral rights underneath their projects. Reuters investigated this issue in 25 states, and found that in most states, seller aren’t legally required to disclose to home buyers whether they are severing the mineral rights to the property.

In one case, Denver community members whose mineral rights are leased to Anadarko Energy are so concerned about their children and families that they have begun to exhibit health issues like panic attacks. On the other hand, some homeowners are angry that they cannot financially benefit from something they thought they owned.

“As drilling has moved into more densely populated areas, energy companies have typically sent teams of so-called land men to knock on homeowners’ doors and try to persuade them to lease their mineral rights. Each lease can have different terms, depending on negotiating skill of the homeowner. Now, by dealing with builders and developers, energy companies can lock up entire neighborhoods via a single lease. “

Some communities are beginning to mobilize around this issue; in Colorado, a bill is expected in 2014 that would require sellers to disclose mineral rights ownership to buyers before sale.

Read the Reuters article here: