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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NY unlikely to face lawsuits over fracking ban, experts say

Today's post is shared from
When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in New York on Wednesday, he predicted "a ton of lawsuits" against the state. But that is unlikely as the end of a drilling boom has left the industry in no mood for a fight, industry experts and lawyers said.
"I think most of the companies in the industry are disinterested in fighting," said Brad Gill, the executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, a trade group.
Six years ago, before the start of a lengthy New York moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of natural gas, the governor might have been right. But since then, the fracking phenomenon has turned from mania to mundane.
Chesapeake Energy, once one of the biggest leaseholders in New York, last year gave up a legal battle to retain thousands of acres in the state. Norse Energy went bankrupt in 2012 after more than 100,000 acres in the state it leased were deemed off-limits to drilling.
The industry's less confrontational stance reflects the dramatic shift in the U.S. natural gas industry over the years since the state's de facto ban came into force in 2008.
That year, natural gas prices spiked to a near record around $14 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), and drilling were racing around the country snapping up land rights to exploit new techniques that would unlock decades worth of reserves.
Fracking involves blasting large volumes of water, sand and chemicals into shale rock to release...
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