It's still mostly rumor, but it sounds like Anschutz and other gas companies aren't putting up resistance to lease expirations any longer. People who signed leases long enough ago for the initial expiration date to have passed can file for termination and (at least according to the folks I've heard), the gas companies are letting local leases go.
I'm hoping that the Marcellus Accountability Project map (which seems to be down right now) will show fewer and fewer leased areas over time.
It's not just local leases - there's a broader decline in drilling Pennsylvania as well. My guess is that it's a combination of local and state resistance to drilling and (probably most importantly) the crashing price of natural gas. Our "dry" gas is worth a lot less to the drillers than the "wet" gas available in formations further west.
On a slightly different note, it sounds like the concerns over getting a mortgage on a house in a drilling area are real, at least for some lenders.
If you know more about lease expirations, definitely please leave a comment!Posted by simon at September 1, 2012 4:06 PM in energy , real estate