Landowners in Broome and Tioga counties who challenged Chesapeake Energy's move to extend gas leases on their properties without re-negotiating the terms may soon be out of those leases.

The landowners' attorneys say Chesapeake has sent a letter indicating it will drop the legal challenge to force the property owners to accept the indefinite extension of leases at the originally negotiated price which is much lower that rates that were negotiated with other landowners at later dates.

The company wanted to extend leases that expired in 2010 due to New York State's current moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracture drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation.

About 200 landowners in the Southern Tier were to be effected by the lease extensions.

Attorneys in the case say they expect Chesapeake's move to back away from the suit will be finalized in a few days.