Company pushing NC fracking indicted in Michigan

Michigan authorities have charged two major natural gas companies, including one that’s supported fracking in North Carolina, with colluding to keep leasing prices low as the two bid for properties in the state’s Collingwood shale belt.

Chesapeake Energy, the subject of a lengthy investigation by Reuters, hosted a 2011 trip by North Carolina legislators and top administration officials as the legislature contemplated opening up the state to hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction.

Landowner rights and concerns about the purchasing and trading of mineral rights in Lee and Chatham counties have been a growing concern as the state grows closer to a 2015 deadline to start gas exploration through fracking in the region.

Via Reuters:

Oil and gas giants Chesapeake Energy and Encana Corp were charged on Wednesday with colluding to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in Michigan, state Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

The criminal charges follow a lengthy investigation by Schuette’s office into whether the firms — the biggest land leasers during a speculative oil and gas leasing boom in Michigan’s Collingwood Shale region during 2010 — colluded to keep prices from rising as they acquired land leases from landowners.Oil and gas giants Chesapeake Energy and Encana Corp were charged on Wednesday with colluding to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in Michigan, state Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

The criminal charges follow a lengthy investigation by Schuette’s office into whether the firms — the biggest land leasers during a speculative oil and gas leasing boom in Michigan’s Collingwood Shale region during 2010 — colluded to keep prices from rising as they acquired land leases from landowners.

Reuters — Chesapeake, Encana face criminal antitrust charges in Michigan

Facing South — Pro-fracking NC lawmakers cozied up with scandal-plagued gas company

News & Observer — Lee County records reveal who owns rights to drill for natural gas

RAFI USA — Landowner Rights & Fracking

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