MAP – Tompkins

The Marcellus Accountability Project
for Tompkins County

Map Data Details


Gas Leases Not Included on Map

   (1)  Oil and Gas Leases from Years Prior to 2005

There are 744 leases recorded in Tompkins County between 1/1/2000 and 12/31/2004. Some of these are still in effect, and some have expired.  Some are for tax parcels that are included in our map because new leases have been signed on these parcels. When a lease expires, it is not usually recorded in the Tompkins County Clerk’s Office, so we have no way to determine how many of these leases are active. There are 1,159 oil and gas leases recorded between 1900 and 1999. Many of these have expired or are for lands that have been re-leased in the last 5 years.

Below is the number of leases recorded at the Clerk’s Office for each of these time periods:

1900 to 1999: 1,159 
2000: 75 
2001: 250 
2002: 193 
2003: 60 
2004: 166 

   (2)  Gas Leases from 2005 to 2009 whose Primary Terms have Expired

The primary terms of some leases recorded between 2005 and 2009 have already expired--for example, leases signed in 2005 that have a 3-year primary term. These leases have not been recorded on the map because we do not know if they have been renewed.



Surface Rights

Surface Rights Granted:  Most gas leases grant surface rights to the gas company.  Usually, this allows the gas company to do anything it deems necessary on the property to explore for and extract natural gas, including building roads, drilling wells, storing gas, constructing pipelines, and doing seismic testing. Some leases restrict specific activities, such as gas storage or pipeline construction.

No Surface Rights:  Some leases do not grant surface rights. In these cases, the gas company can drill underneath the property from the side, pump toxic fracking fluid under high pressure underneath the property, and extract the gas from underneath the property, but cannot actually carry out operations on the surface of the property. Some leases that do not grant surface rights do allow seismic testing. A few leases grant surface rights on most of the parcel, but restrict them on a small portion (usually around the house). These have been lumped with those parcels granting surface rights. 

Surface Rights Unknown: In some cases, only “Memoranda” of gas leases have been filed in the Clerk’s Office. Many of these do not state whether or not surface rights have been granted. These parcels have been coded on our map as “surface rights unknown.”



How to Find More Information

on Gas Leases in Tompkins County

If you would like

(1) information on gas leases not shown on this map,

(2) to read the actual leases, or

(3) to look up gas leases by leaseholder name instead of tax parcel,

then you must visit the Tompkins County Clerk’s Office or the Tompkins County Assessment Office and use their public access computers. Click here for directions on how to find this information. 

hosting by