Sue Heavenrich writes a blog called "The Marcellus Effect" about shale gas production in the northeastern United States. In a recent post, she discusses the attempts by a company called Chesapeake to extend expiring gas drilling leases by reliance on "force majeure" clauses. "Force Majeure" clauses in contracts are meant to relieve parties from obligations when performance becomes impossible due to extenuating circumstances. Often these circumstances will be "Acts of God". In this case, Heavenrich reports that Chesapeake is contending that New York State's prohibition on hydro-fracking is a "force majeure" that is preventing it from proceeding with drilling, thereby necessitating an extension of leases. Apparently, at least one County Clerk is refusing to register the extensions that have not been signed by affected landowners.
Read the post at: Extending leases ... still.