The New York Times has collected more than 111,000 oil and gas leases and related documents through open records requests. Over 100,000 of the documents in the archive are from Tarrant County, Tex., roughly 3,200 are from New York, and the remainder are from states including Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
To see all of the leases that have been collected by the New York Times, click here.
Some quick tidbits about what they found:
- Fewer than half the leases require companies to compensate landowners for water contamination after drilling begins. And only about half the documents have language that lawyers suggest should be included to require payment for damages to livestock or crops.
- Most leases grant gas companies broad rights to decide where they can cut down trees, store chemicals, build roads and drill. Companies are also permitted to operate generators and spotlights through the night near homes during drilling.
- In the leases, drilling companies rarely describe to landowners the potential environmental and other risks that federal laws require them to disclose in filings to investors.
- Most leases are for three or five years, but at least two-thirds of those reviewed by The Times allow extensions without additional approval from landowners.