Fortuna used deceptive tactics

Horseheads, N.Y.

Fortuna Energy used deceptive and misleading tactics in negotiating natural gas drilling rights with landowners, according to a recent investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office.

The Horseheads-based company reached a settlement in which it agreed to stop using such tactics, which are prevalent in the industry, the Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.

Beginning in April, Fortuna sent letters to several hundred area landowners whose leases with the company were about to expire, according to a press release. Most of the leases were for drilling rights in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation which runs deep beneath the Southern Tier.
The letters falsely stated that Fortuna had the right to extend these leases without the permission of the landowners, according to the AG.

Specifically, Fortuna falsely claimed that the leases contained provisions that allowed Fortuna to put the lease on hold until the company could obtain required horizontal drilling permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, according to the AG.

(Click to read the entire report)


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