Broome County, NY Landowners Get Big Payment from Talisman

New York landowners in Broome County will receive millions in lease payments this month from Talisman Energy—$5000 per acre (they’ve already received $500 per acre). The landowners belong to the Friendsville Group, a landowner coalition that signed a deal with Talisman in 2009. Most of the Friendsville Group members are landowners just over the border in Pennsylvania, who already received their full $5,500 per acre payments two years ago. The New York members had to wait—either until permits were granted, or January 2012.

The landowners are part of the Friendsville Group, a collection of about 600 Pennsylvania and New York landowners that received a $165 million gas lease offer from Talisman Energy in September 2009. The vast majority of the properties involved in that deal were in Pennsylvania, where landowners received a $5,500-per-acre payment when the leases were signed.

But landowners in New York — where high-volume, hydraulic fracturing has been on hold — got a different deal.

They received $500 initially, with the other $5,000 coming later.

"It was set up where we would either be paid when there were drilling permits, or January of 2012," said Christy Everitt, who represented Broome County on the Friendsville Group’s core team. "But since, of course, there have been no drilling permits to date, January 2012 came first."

The leases for both New York and Pennsylvania property last for five years, but the term of the New York leases begins this month. Landowners receive 20 percent royalties for producing wells.*

The kicker? Drilling won’t even begin in New York until 2013 at the earliest. The further kicker? The New York landowners will pay about 40 percent of the money they receive in taxes. Something is wrong with this picture.

*The Ithaca Journal (Jan 24, 2012) – N.Y. gas deals to pay off landowners’ coalition