New York State does not regulate natural gas leases between a landowner and a gas company. It is up to the landowner to seek legal counsel before negotiating or signing any natural gas lease. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) publishes a document called the "Landowner Guide to Oil and Gas Leasing" that provides basic information about natural gas leases, definition of key terms, and frequently asked questions.
Landowners are not required to sign a natural gas lease.
If a natural gas company applies and is granting a permit to drill, and a landowner(s) have not signed a gas lease, then New York has a process called "Compulsory Integration" which provides various options for the unleased landowner(s). The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) publishes a document called the "Landowner's Guide To Compulsory Integration Options that provides basic information about the compulsory integration process.
Consult and attorney before you sign a lease and review each term and condition of the lease with your attorney.
Ask all necessary questions to ensure that you undestand all terms and conditions on the lease.
Obtain in writing all promises and conditions, and make sure those written promises are part of the lease.
Negotiate as you may get better terms than those initially offered to you.
Search for and negotiate with more than one gas operator.
There is strength in numbers, so consider negotiating your lease together with a group of neighbors or interested parties.
Obtain copies of the lease you sign and a copy of the lease signed by both you and the gas operator to make sure that the lease reflects the agreement reached with the landman.
The right to cancel is yours for 3 (three) business days after signing the lease, but to cancel, you must comply strictly with all requirements (consult your attorney).
Oil and Gas Leases: Landowners' Rights
The New York State Office of the Attorney General has also published a brochure entititled "Oil and Gas Leases: Landowners' Rights". This brochure discusses tips for landowners, how to enter into and oil and gas lease, and describes what is a gas lease.