I'm a landowner in Afton, NY. I have 22+ acres bordering state forests and about a year ago we received a letter from a company called Chesapeake offering $2,000/acre plus royalties for a 10 year lease but before we could act on it we found out that they had pulled out of the area because of the declining gas prices.

Anyway we are now at the point where we were looking to sell the land and buy elsewhere. We aren't land speculators, we're really just in it for the recreational value of the land. But I also am not looking to make a bad business decision and sell the property only to find out someone else is going to get rich off of it.

Does anyone know of a way to re-initiate talks with one of these gas companies? or maybe sell the land but maintain the mineral rights so that we'd still be able to profit from the future potential windfall?

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It is possible to retain mineral rights when you sell property. It may however make selling the property somewhat more difficult. There are attorney's in the area who have experience in this regard. I would suggest you ask your real estate agent or an area attorney for advice.
If you are interested in selling, please let me know.
If you can hold on for a while longer (a year or less?) things should start to turn around again. Most likely.

The drilling in NY has been stalled by the DRBC (Delaware River basin commission) because of an environmental study they started and are dragging on. It is to be completed and new requirements issued by September 2009, and then if all goes well the companies will begin to drill in NY again.

Everyone moved into Northeast PA in the meantime to drill without dealing with ignorant commission issues.

You CAN try to sell the property and RETAIN the mineral rights, but it may not be worth doing. There is a ton of land listed without the mineral rights but it's hard to tell if it actually sells or if it is worth doing.

In any case, you will need to speak to a lawyer with experience in oil and gas issues to do it properly. Good luck.
This is great info! Thanks!

John, I am interested in selling but if you only want to buy it for the drilling rights it probably wouldn't be worth it. I think the place has value beyond that (house, proximity to forest, timber harvesting, etc).. You could probably buy empty acreage for much less if you were merely speculating.
You probably missed out on being offered a high bonus. With the DEC missing the deadline on the draft environmental assessment to the GEIS combined with the number of companies losing lands in NY, I doubt any gas companies will be interested in leasing any mineral rights in NY for years.
As of 5/17 our place is officially going on the market. If anyone is interested let me know.

Has anybody respond to your inquiry?  I'm in Greene and wonder the same.

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