Fortuna to let NY landowners out of gas leases

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2009 5:35 PM

A natural gas drilling company has agreed to renegotiate the terms of its leases with New York landowners as part of a settlement with the state.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says Fortuna Energy Inc. bullied hundreds of landowners into extending their natural gas drilling leases by among other things, threatening to obtain liens against their property.

As part of the settlement, Fortuna also will pay $192,500.

Jim O'Driscoll, president of Horseheads-based Fortuna, says the settlement will help clarify the often confusing oil and gas land leasing process in New York. He says it affects 312, or about 2 percent, of Fortuna's New York landowners.

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O'Driscoll says Fortuna's intention has been to act fairly.