Third Energy welcomes recommendation to approve Kirby Misperton fracking plans

Third Energy

In a statement issued tonight Rasik Valand, Chief Executive of Third Energy, said:

“We are pleased that the Planning Officer has recommended that North Yorkshire County Council approve our application.  Within our application, and throughout North Yorkshire County Council’s thorough assessment of it, including various stages of consultation, and through all the additional information provided, we have addressed the wide range of questions, concerns and comments raised by NYCC, statutory consultees and others.

“This work is reflected in the Planning Officer’s Report together with the planning conditions proposed.  We believe that this thorough report will enable North Yorkshire County Council to reach a positive determination on our application.

“Third Energy has been drilling wells and producing gas safely and discreetly from this site in Kirby Misperton for over 20 years and we will continue to maintain the same standards in the future.”

Campaigners urge councillors to overrule planners’ recommendation

Breaking: Planners recommend approval of Third Energy plans to frack at Kirby Misperton

68 replies »

  1. Don’t think so TW, but if they do, another appeal process will take place. It may mean the anti-fracking movement will win the battle, but certainly won’t win the war 🙂

  2. Its great to see that science, rather than scaremongering has influenced the planners. One would hope the councillors will follow that guidance, (as they have to do) and we will see this much needed industry starting, under local planning law.

    • “much needed industry”
      Odd suggestion from someone who has been presumably heating his home and hot water with gas which came from the North Sea or our secure energy partners. The first applications for shale were in 2010. Has your gas supply been cut off in the last 5 years? mine has not. 375 thousand people work in the offshore industry. Another 40000 have been laid off due to a crippling production tax regime. Seeing as offshore gas is half the price of onshore gas I presume you are working hard to get the 40000 back to work as that would be best for the country. You may also try and get the same 30% tax offered to the onshore industry to the offshore industry. If you managed that 40000 skilled workers would get re employed the offshore industry would invest in the vast proven reserves, more jobs would be created and the UK would see billions in revenue.
      As you never mention this I presume you don’t understand the significance of the North Sea Industry in relation to a totally unnecessary shale gas industry. Best listen to the energy analysts speaking in the house of lords. I particularly like the reference to shale gas as laughable. Sums up the importance of the industry. Start time 16-38

      • It sounds like the offshore industry want to sell shale out to protect their interest just as the Greens with their renewables subsidies. A bit like sleeping with the enemy.

      • johnpowney, they certainly laughed in America when they first started fracking and horizontally drilling for gas. It was a tiny industry for a long time while techniques were refined and improved. They aren’t laughing now as 2/3 of gas to the country is supplied by this technology. You can put your head in the sand and assume that because your gas has not been cut off that everything is fine and that exploiting a massive homegrown natural resource is not necessary. Me, I prefer a more cautious and realistic approach. I don’t like relying on our “friends” in Russia and the Middle East for gas. Nor do I like the idea of being dependent on the revitalization of the North Sea. We have trillions of cubic feet of gas beneath our feet and we can tap it safely and inexpensively. It can create jobs, wealth, energy security, and it can help wean us off of coal. It needs to be done safely, but we have hard empirical evidence over a large data set that this can be accomplished. So yeah, it is a “much needed industry”

        • Bill, our gas doesn’t come from Russia, it comes mostly from Norway, who really do have the best regulatory framework in the world which has safety cut off valves the US and our UK gov haven’t told the industry is necessary…cos it’s too expensive and the mates of Dave and George can’t afford to look after the environment. Mind you water shareholders are in for a big hike in profits once they find water fracked and bottled water on sale bringing in extra profit, with few folk knowing how to recoup their rates paid for water they are told not to drink it, as in Lancs last year when it got polluted. Rate payers are then asked to pay twice for driking water supplies, once fracking pollutes that coming into their homes.

          • Mar g – Safety cut off valves? I assume you mean DHSSVS? Downhole Sub Surface Safety Valves. These are mandatory in Norway AND also offshore in the UK offshore. They are installed below the seabed in case a platform is hit by a vessel / aircraft or a subsea tree is taken off by a submarine or sinking vessel. As far as I know they are not mandatory onshore (there is no or very little onshore O & G Industry in UK). They were made mandatory in Kuwait after liberation however I believe this requirement has been lifted.

            Or are you talking about shear rams on drilling rig BOPs? Also mandatory offshore Norway and the UK.

            Please explain – for others, as I know you don’t like my comments.

          • No or very little onshore O & G Industry in Norway – though the “very little” does apply to UK at the moment

  3. I am still amazed that councilors, MP’s and Planning committees are still able to ignore the serious impact implications of fracking on our health and safety the UK. I have worked in civil engineering for most of my life and fracking would be prevented on any building site as it contravines almost every health and safety regulation in the book. Has the HSE ever carried out a risk assessment on fracking sites?

    • Risk assessments came into the UK Oil & Gas Industry post Piper Alpha, previously these had been predominantly the domain of the Nuclear and Aircraft industries. The Oil & Gas Industry has to follow UK HS Regs just like the construction industry. But there are additional levels including third party verification for O&G. To get an idea look at section 5 in the UKOOG Guidelines:

      Click to access UKOOGShaleGasWellGuidelines.pdf

      Please advise which H&S regs applicable to building sites you have found “fracking” contravenes? If you are correct then you should notify the HSE and they will issue the relevant notices, perhaps even prosecute?

      According to the HSE 35 workers died in construction and 33 in agriculture in 2014 – 2015. For UK Oil and Gas operations, onshore and offshore, the number was 1 fatality (a total of 8 over the last 10 year period).

      Click to access fatalinjuries.pdf

      The Oil & Gas Industry is one of the safest, if not the safest, large scale industries in the UK.

    • Risk assessments came into the UK Oil & Gas Industry post Piper Alpha, previously these had been predominantly the domain of the Nuclear and Aircraft industries. The Oil & Gas Industry has to follow UK HS Regs just like the construction industry. But there are additional levels including third party verification for O&G. To get an idea look at section 5 in the UKOOG Guidelines:

      Click to access UKOOGShaleGasWellGuidelines.pdf

      Please advise which H&S regs applicable to building sites which you have found “fracking” contravenes? If you are correct then you should notify the HSE and they will issue the relevant notices, perhaps even prosecute?

      According to the HSE 35 workers died in construction and 33 in agriculture in 2014 – 2015. For UK Oil and Gas operations, onshore and offshore, the number was 1 fatality (a total of 8 over the last 10 year period).

      Click to access fatalinjuries.pdf

      The Oil & Gas Industry is one of the safest, if not the safest, large scale industries in the UK.

      • Thankyou for the reference, i read the UKOOG document carefully, it states that it is an entirely members funded organisation for producing operational guidelines for fracking, nowhere does it refer to, or require the presence of the HSE on site during exploration or operation and states:

        UKOOG is the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry including exploration and production. The organisation’s objectives are to:
        • enhance the profile of the whole onshore industry (both conventional and unconventional);
        • promote better and more open dialogue with key stakeholders;
        • deliver industry wide initiatives and programmes; and
        • ensure the highest possible standards in safety, environment management and operations.
        UKOOG is a membership organisation fully funded by its members. Full membership is open to all UK onshore licence holders and operators, and associate membership is open to all suppliers to the UK onshore oil and gas industry.

        Ensure by what means?

        This is primarily a guideline for the industry and does not appear to state what governing body is responsible for monitoring or enforcing these guidelines with powers of shutting down sites in the event of accident spillage, explosion or failure to observe the guidelines or issuing fines if the guidelines are not observed or maintained. How are records maintained and who is responsible for their accuracy and relevance, who oversees these records and follows them up with enforcement?

        Issuing guidelines is fine, but where are the teeth if there is non compliance?

        A report in Hazards Magazine July 2014

        This makes interesting reading, in particular a comment by Michael Hill, writing in the Lancet(16) in June 2014, warned that regulatory and enforcement framework just does not exist in the UK “The need for strict regulations coupled with strict enforcement through an independent, competent body is clear. But no such body is exists, and no such efficient regulations are forthcoming,” he wrote, adding that the relevant functions of the existing regulators, the Environment Agency and HSE, had been either scrapped, restructured or downsized. The government, he claimed, “choose to legislate to make fracking easier for the operators, but fail to make it safer for the public.”

        A self regulated industry clearly inevitably becomes subject to the internal pressures from its members and if not publicly accountable by way of the HSE or other regulatory statutory body, the government seems determined to have undermined the HSE in favour of fracking and has even gone so far as the protect the fracking industry from even the definition of fracking in that Fracking in the UK is defined in the new law as “the injection of more than 1,000 cubic metres of fluid at each stage (or expected stage), or the injection of more than 10,000 cubic metres of fluid in total”. The government argues that using smaller volumes than this would not produce much gas or oil and notes that the two applications made so far, by Cuadrilla and Third Energy, are defined as fracking.

        This amounts to partiality at best, at worst it leaves the public being completely undefended.

        My personal experience of the HSE was that they maintained a presence on site with enough regulatory teeth to shut a site down if there was non compliance, it appears these teeth have been ‘drawn’ by the government in favour of the likely cost implications of prosecution, this is simply not acceptable as a regulatory practice. UKOOG clearly does not fill that gap.

        Lastly the record on public health in the proximity of fracking sites and the occupational health of the drilling and fracking operators from the hazards from exposure to the chemicals, proppants and processes, which are historically not analysed or investigated independently and no independent body seems to exist in the UK that would do so. We see this in USA and Australia, where health effects are put down to pre existing conditions and testing of water and air is carried out without supervision or recording by any regulatory body.

        • Well spotted Philip. I have read some docs relating to offshore catastrophes but these are minimally reported, and stick to basics such as a bad cough, breathing probs and trivia which says nothing about ongoing health monitoring once employees leave, and is the biggest laugh for those of us who are aware this government is changing laws to reinstate ancient Norman conquest style manorial strongholds which rule communities based upon fracking profits and will not be intent on monitoring, enforcing or paying attention to the health and safety and environmental hazards we know arise from fracking.

          DEFRA doesn’t monitor the killing of sperm whales and other cetaceans as a result of offshore gas explosions and those with ”Royal” apts, are given posts because they are excellent cap doffers who toe the party line. Whales at Hunstanton this year were known to exude gas, and yet the gov says”we don’t know what caused their death” for sure, with Zane Malek whose parents still try to get to the bottom of how their son died after a local landfill site went wrong, we will all be put under danger from fracking and the waste water it produces wholesale, and ready to pollute all freshwater supplies.

  4. I don’t think they do fracking on building sites. The fracking occurs over 3000 feet underground, only the pumping and drilling equipment is at ground level. In the USA there have been 350,000 fracked wells which now produce over half of US gas at much lower cost to homes and industry compared to Europe. Given the American tendency to sue at the slightest chance don’t you think fracking is probably relatively safe. As a civil engineer you must know the plethora of safety regulations governing drilling in the UK, some of the most stringent in the UK.

    I guess the planning committee are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Lots of local opposition equals lots of votes come election time BUT a decision deemed unreasonable, after an appeal, especially in light of the PO’s recommendation could mean they are ordered to pay all of Third’s costs, which could be big. I suspect the committee will look to delay and see how the Blackpool decision turns out. Let’s hope they have the courage to grant permission immediately but I doubt it.

    • I was not suggesting that fracking is carried out on building sites, simply that the process would not meet HSE regulations if it were. it is clear that any regulatory body such as the HSE needs to have fully trained staff with regulatory teeth backed up by a concerned goverment and not handicapped by the government throwing caution to the wind, putting the cost of prosecution in the event of non compliance over the safety of everyone concerned, operators health and safety and the public health and safety.

      Fracking does indeed operate above ground, its the drilling and casing and proppants that are operated underground. The pumps that the transport the hazardous waste and delivery of propppants are above ground, the chemicals are stored and pumped above ground. Seizmological testing only sees well defined strata, water and gas can exist in very narrow strata. The slip chemicals, the sand and chemical insertion and the cementing of the cavity around the casings can be disturbed by the subsequent explosive fracking, and the opening of cavities making casing joints and surrounds unstable.

      These processes are i assume operated under risk assessments, but are these risk assessments redefined at each site? Or are they just standard operating risk assessment procedures, rolled out without consideration that each site is unique?

      I am sorry but i will keep asking these questions, not just accepting the standard answers, until they are satisfactorily resolved. Isnt that free and frank discussion and debate?

      • Try this link and look at the DCR Regs. I recall they may cover risk assessment to the extent you are interested. Each well has an individual risk assessment for the specific design and construction of that particular well. This includes geology. These RAs are independently verified by Well Examiners. Chemical pumped in frack fluids are strictly controlled by the EA. e.g. Cuadrilla only pumped sand, water, PAC (used in water treatment and beauty products) and possibly a bit of defoamer (soap).

        Out of interest, do construction / civils operations undergo third party verification?

        • Sorry, I forgot to add that the HSE have the power to shut down any UK Oil and Gas operation (and the EA also do) if it is deemed unsafe / not in compliance with the regs and / or permits. They can also issue enforcement notices, prosecute etc. Just like they can with any other industry in the UK. Not sure why you think the O & G Industry is exempt or outside the HSE?

          • PAUL, referring back to a previous conversation.

            YES , we to have had a bad experience with the EA.

            To cut a long story short.

            After being shown independent air quality testing data from around the Davyhulme area of Manchester.
            The EA chose to ignore the report and rely on data from air testing stations that were so far away, they might just as well if been on the Moon and planet Mars.

            They granted a well known company a permit to build a large incinerator in a densly populated area which already suffers poor air quality.

            They also granted the same company permission to reduce the stack height of the incinerator chimney, BELOW the recommended height in order to facilitate the private members of a small airport they also own.

            PLEASE SEE….. the Breath Clean Air Group Manchester website to read all this public information.

    • Yes but they try and get away with noise levels based upon construction rather than industry so they can have a higher background db level.

  5. Excuse me for having another fourpennyworth.

    Here’s a crucial, and balanced paragraph from the planning officer’s decision in the Third Energy planning application.

    “Members are reminded of the requirement to determine this application on its merits having regard first to the development plan and then other material considerations. The scale and nature of this proposal means that a range of impacts are inevitable. Even with satisfactory implementation of the range of mitigation measures proposed by the applicant, there is anticipated to be a certain degree of residual impact, particularly with regard to noise and traffic, as explained earlier in this report. However, provided that those impacts are sufficiently mitigated, as proposed, and taking into account expert views, it is not considered that they would be unacceptable or of such concern to warrant refusal of the planning application on those grounds alone.”

    In other words, industry causes some disruption, just as we can’t have distributed electricity without pylons or mass travel without railways and roads. They all cause “a range of impacts”. The argument of course is impacts versus benefits. Shale gas will help to provide safe, clean, secure energy, just as it has done in the USA, for example on a still, cold night when there is NO solar and NO wind power. Shale gas is worth it.

    • Shale gas is worth what exactly? Hey have you heard of wood, solar power, wind power……..why is fracking the environment and killing off wildlife and pristine rural land ”worth you being too ill informed to try other less damaging forms of energy?

  6. I take note that we have a couple of Igas investors on here. ( that I know ). I can understand with colapse of the share price why they would want to talk up fracking.

    Scaremongering …… Why is it when I paste the names of the long list of medical experts, scientists and professional engineers who work for some of worlds leading and most respected institutions, it goes quiet.

    NONE of the public’s questions or concerns are being answered. Stop taking us for fools.

    ( It would appear that the only readily available supply of hot gas is on here. )

  7. Jackthelad your response and in particular your comment about a couple of Igas investors and their vested interests in seeing shale gas industry going ahead is surely not the issue here?

    It seems the protesters of which you are one, always revert the accusation that both the company and the investor are in it for the money.
    Well of course they are, its called investment, but investment on many more fronts than just money.

    Its primary investment is surely on energy independence for the U. K. and their is no cheaper gas than that produced in your own country.

    As Bill makes the point, the North Sea revitalisation is a no goer, and if you think relying on the Middle East and Russia for future supplies is the preferred option then you are a fool no question.

    • “The North Sea revitalisation is a no goer” The most hilarious statement yet. You really should get on the phone to BP and tell them their current 1 billion dollars investment in the Eastern Trough Area Project is a waste of time.

      You must also tell the Guys at Total that their metering equipment is not working correctly. They must be mistaken with their 90,000 boe per day readings from their Laggan Toremore development which came on line 2 months ago producing gas which is making profit even at today’s low prices.(Lets not forget North Sea Gas under 27p per therm. LNG 37p per therm. And good old UK shale over 60p per therm)

      After explaining to this industry how they have got it wrong you must ring the OGA. They are spending £20,000,000 on North Sea seismic surveys covering an area of 220,000 sq Kilometres, the size of the UK looking for new field development. Obviously a futile operation.
      Anyway,enough for now I must go and boil a kettle using Russian Gas.Gosh I hope Putin doesn’t turn the tap off. How could we possibley manage?

      The BP statistical review of world energy 2015 shows that in 2014
      Britain consumed 6500 million cubic feet of gas (mmscfd) per day, of which
      Britain produced 3500 mmscfd
      Britain imported 1100 mmscfd in the form of liquid Natural Gas (LNG), mainly from Quatar
      Britain imported 2200 mmscfd through established pipelines from
      Norway (79%)
      Netherlands (20%)
      Other sources (1%)
      So what your saying is that one of our countries biggest industries which has supplied us with oil and gas for decades now doesn’t know what they are talking about and and we need to hope the likes of Cuadrilla can save us from the lights going out. Priceless.

    • MICHAEL, of course it’s all about the money.

      Now I’m sure like myself, you wouldn’t invest in any company that wilfully exploted child or slave labour, no matter what the return was.
      What people have got to ask themselves is where they draw the line with what they sit fit as a moral and correct investment.
      For me this is wrong, no matter what the return.

      I ‘m not against the conventional Oil and Gas industrty as long as doesn’t cause a wake of destruction prior, during or after its extraction. Although I do feel there is a lot we could and should be doing to cut our Oil dependency.

      I am against fracking for a multitude of reasons. You only have to look to the USA to see what the dangers are and the legacy for this industry.

      I feel that there will be no threat to supplies either from Russia or the Middle East, WHY WOULD THERE BE ??? Money talks all language’s and whilst we are paying our bills, they will continue to happily supply.
      Talks of potential Oil and Gas supply threats is just spin from a desperate industry.

      Currently the shale business is on its knees and understandably investors nursing large loses will say or do anything to try and bolster the industry in order to see a return their initial investment.
      I genuinely and sincerely hope that there is a VERY SHORT lived high on the share price so that shale gas investers are able to cash out and join us on the right side opposing this toxic industry.

      • Yes you’re right Jack, look at the USA totally independent now for their own gas supplies, and in fact are now an exporter of the commodity, the UK should know that we’ve signed a supply agreement and all because of shale.

        You feel there is no threat from the Middle East or Russia regarding continuing supplies, yes you’re right money speaks all languages, just ask the terrorist organisations that live, operate and thrive on overseas funding, very likely our money. If you think they’re good neighbours willing and happy to support us because we buy their gas then you are in a very small minority.

        When it is all boiled down the simple facts are there are those for and those against, the only difference is those for don’t scaremonger, don’t crap on about drinking water being poisoned, lane’s being too narrow that won’t fit a lorry and a horse and it’s rider, house prices will fall, etc etc. they trust in the wisdom and expertise of professional organisations who have been commissioned to carry out the numerous tests in the pursuit of making the right decision.

        You speak of the USA and the dangers and legacy of this industry, what are they Jack?
        Oh that’s right it’s all there for me to see on the movie gaslands huh?

        I not only think it’s the moral obligation we have to support this industry, I want peace of mind knowing my money is not being spent on some potential overseas terrorist organisation plotting to create havoc on the western world, but also the correct one from an investment perspective. Investment in our own country, our own jobs, our own self reliance.

        Oh and before you or some other poster raises the issue of investment in our own country, don’t lets forget our very own Centrica feels the same way, they after all have also contributed to seeing this industry take off.

        • MICHAEL, we have been trading with repressive , evil dictatorships that have supported terrorism since the dawn of time, if you look back at history .

          In the past, they have only become an enemy of the West when we have decided there should be a regime change.

          Which Middle East countries are you referring to ??
          Are you trying to imply that Russia is a threat to the UK, WHY ??

          I do though believe, there is now a wind of change and that the West is now looking a lot closer at who they do business with.
          This I am very pleased to see and it is a credit to the Western Governments ability to come together as a united front to combat this evil menace.

          • Jack in all your haste to make your mark you forgot to shed some light for me on the dangers and the legacy relating to shale in the U.S.

            Now’s your opportunity, or perhaps you’ll just refer me to the movie Gasland that you and your like so religiously sprout off as gospel.

        • MICHAEL,

          Thank You for asking about the dangers and the legacy of the fracking industry.

          When you have contacted these professional people and highly respected organisations in order to re-educate them on their mistakes, please do contact me again for another long list.

          Just Google any of the following to read their reports.

          NOBEL PEACE PRIZE winners, ( PSR ) Physicians For Social Responsibility, fracking

          DEFRA, fracking report

          BREAST CANCER ACTION, fracking

          BREAST CANCER FUND, fracking

          BREAST CANCER UK, fracking

          STOP CANCER NOW, Fracking and your health, 24 February 2014

          PREVENT CANCER NOW, Fracking shale gas and health, a case for precaution.

          US Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) article headline, EPA Findings In Fracking Water Pollution Disputed By Its Own Scientists, 19th November 2015.
          EVEN THIS ORGANISATION with its very questionable fracking study, which many say missed the elephant in the room. STILL managed to find evidence of pollution to water aquifers.

          Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, CAPE’s
          CAPE’s position statement on fracking , June 2014.

          Natural Resources Defence Council, NRDC. Fracking

          United States News,
          headlined…. Toxic Chemicals, Carcinogens, skyrocket near fracking sites.

          BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL fracking ….. public health England’s draft report on shale gas extraction. The BMJ.

          Maybe you would also like to comment on the article published on the Guardian Newspaper 30th March 2015, HEADLINED. ….. Doctors And Academics Call For Ban On Inherently Risky Fracking.

          SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY fracking …. scientific review reveals public health and data gaps.

          Physicians , Scientists And Engineers For Public Healthy Energy ( PSE ) and read the many reports published by them regarding the dangers of fracking.

          MICHAEL, are these all scaremongering ?

          I look forward to your detailed response on this matter.

          • MICHAEL, is there something wrong with your ability to read and understand the posts on this forum properly ?

            In reply to your comment, 18th May 2016 at 3.48am


            LOOK ABOVE, there are plenty of reports on the dangers of fracking and the legacy it will leave.

            There are so many negative reports on the dangers of Fracking, I do NOT need to mention the Gasland documentary.

            When you have been in touch with the above organisations to re-educate them on their mistakes ( scaremongering tactics ). Please do get back in touch, I will have another long list waiting.

    • So Michael where is your evidence fracking is safe? Where is your evidence fracking is safe?

      Since when did the UK get gas from Russia? It doesn’t it gets it from Norway. How much gas is imported from the Middle East?….NONE NONE NONE.

      That’s the problem with prof frackers, they completely lack any real hard facts or evidence to support claims for support for the highly toxic method of gas extraction they are promoting.

  8. Off you go John, put that kettle on while we still have gas, but rest assured Cuadrilla will come to the rescue and provide us with our very own home grown resource when approval to drill is granted ☺

  9. Oil majors will buy out proven shale asset to cover their eventual offshore assets waning down and secure their book reserves. So I see offshore and onshore compliment each other rather than compete.

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