Informational forum on gas lease issues next week

NORWICH – Concerned Residents of Oxford is holding Fleased Forum/Chenango County, an informational forum for Chenango County landowners regarding gas lease issues. Landowners in neighboring counties are also invited to attend. The forum will take place on Thursday, March 14, 6:30 p.m., at United Church of Christ, 11 West Main Street, in Norwich. The event is free and open to the public. Note on parking: Please park on street, in public parking lots, or in County Office Building lots, not in the church parking lot.

Geologist Ellen Harrison and Attorney Joseph Heath, of, will present information on landowner’s rights concerning a range of topics including: the implications of gas leases on insurance coverage, property uses, and mortgages; whether it is possible to sign a “good lease”; how Norse’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing affects the leases that they currently hold; lease assignments such as overriding royalty interests and reciprocal capacity agreements and how they impact current leases; and what the recent force majeure decision in Binghamton means for expired or soon-to-expire leases in Chenango County.

Landowners wishing to terminate their gas leases will hear what they need to do to officially cancel a lease at the end of the primary term. Clearing the land records usually falls to the landowner. Landowners who are not in active gas leases are cautioned to check their deed papers to verify if there was ever a gas lease on their property. Even a decades-old lease remains a liability for the current landowner if not properly released by the gas company and filed as such with the County Clerk’s office. Forum attendees will hear what steps can be taken by a landowner in this situation.

Following their presentations, Harrison and Heath will take questions from the audience.

The forum is organized by Concerned Residents of Oxford, and co-sponsored with CDOG and C-CARE.

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