Third Energy submits fracking plan for Ryedale well

KM8 wellsite

KM8 wellsite. Photo: Third Energy

The company behind plans to frack a shale gas well at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire has submitted a final document for approval.

Third Energy announced today it had sent its hydraulic fracturing plan to the Environment Agency. The document must also be approved by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), an agency of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Opponents in Ryedale said they would continue to resist the company’s operations at the KM8 well, which was drilled in 2013.

The hydraulic fracture plan (HFP) gives details of the location of fracture zones, the volumes of liquids and pressures to be used in the operation. It also sets out how Third Energy says it will monitor the fracking process.

The Environment Agency (EA) said:

“We will now carry out a detailed technical assessment of the submitted Hydraulic Fracture Plan and relevant information detailed in the updated Waste Management Plan.”

The document is online on the EA’s information page about KM8 and on Third Energy’s website.

Third Energy said today the HFP seeks:

“to provide the OGA with an assurance that the risks associated from seismic events will be de Minimis and to provide the EA with information about the techniques being deployed to monitor fracture height growth and fracture geometry together with the assurance that groundwater will be protected and that no fractures will extend beyond the permitted boundary.”

Frack Free Ryedale said:

“Yet again, the most important aspect – the will of local people facing life in a fracking gas-field – is being utterly disregarded.

“Our community has not given consent for this industrialisation of our countryside and Third Energy should make no mistake: they are not welcome here.”

Jackie Cray, from Kirby Misperton, told BBC York :

“I want to resist it with every breath I have.

“We will be watching very closely whatever Third Energy do, both on the site and whatever they bring through the village, they will have eyes on them all the time.”

Third Energy was granted planning permission in May 2016 by North Yorkshire County Council. The council successfully defended a judicial review in December 2016. Environmental permits were granted in April 2016.


Fracture zones and fluid volumes

KM8 fracture plan

The HFP identifies five fracking stages at five different levels within the KM8 well. The figures in brackets are the volumes given by Third Energy in its planning application.

Zone A 2,123m-2,6129m, total fluid 466.22m3 (424.90m3)

Zone B 2,247m-2,253m, total fluid 485.29m3 (441.80m3)

Zone C 2,652m-2,658m, total fluid 522.41m3 (474.90m3)

Zone D 2,760m-2,766m, total fluid 775.69m3 (700.60m3)

Zone E 3,037m-3,043m, total fluid 1,321m3 (1248.90m3)


Stage 1: Workover

Clean out well, run a 4.5” casing string from surface to TD and cement in place up to 5,000ft

Stage 2: Fracking operation

For each stage:

  • Step down and mini-frac tests to “gather and analyse the data to optimise the job parameters”.
  • Main frack, estimated to last 1-2 hours.
  • Run in hole to clean well.
  • Run temperature and neutron logs to determine facture height growth. Set a plug in the hole.

Pumping to be conducted during daylight only.

Stage 3: Conduct flow tests

Third Energy said the bottom three zones would be flow tested independently of upper zones because of pressure differences. Flow tests on the lower three zones would last between one week and one-two months, Third Energy said.

Stage 4: Install completion string

Hook up flow lines to the surface for about 30 days for production test, taking gas to Knapton Generating Station.


Third Energy said it would report each morning by email to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy(BEIS), the OGA, EA and Health and Safety Executive. The email, also to appear on the company’s website would include:

  • Volumes of proppant and fluid
  • Chemical volumes used
  • Pressure summary
  • Injection depths
  • Induced seismicity that reached amber or red zone of the BEIS traffic light scheme
  • Surface vibration exceeding thresholds
  • Summary text of well integrity

A weekly report would go to the HSE. Other reports would go to the OGA and EA if a seismic event reached red on the traffic light scheme during pumping and surface vibrations were breached, if fractures extended beyond the permitted boundary or if the wellbore was compromised during operations.


Third Energy said it would post online a summary report 2-4 weeks of completion and demobilisation. There would be details of all chemicals and a visual display of the estimated induced fracture zone.

The company said it would develop a communications plan before starting work.

“This will be aimed at providing technical information to the regulators, e.g. HSE, EA and OGA, as well as non-technical information to the NYCC and the local communities.”


Third Energy HFP

EA page on Kirby Misperton

32 replies »

  1. I think you will find Sherwulfe countries buy oil because their economies are based upon oil and they don’t have any, or enough, of their own. Yes, you can spend many £billions trying to move your economy away from oil, but you will become bankrupt because you will be uncompetitive. And then you will be in a vicious spiral of not being able to afford any serious level of R&D, so new technology will evaporate.

    So, what excuse do we have in UK not to develop what we have ourselves so we can make a choice? Those who do not learn from events (1970s) will find they have a habit of repetition.

    I spent several years of my life trying to deal with the Price Commission, which was a desperate attempt to stop price rises when inflation was running at around 25%. Even essential goods price rises had to be submitted and fully justified before they could even be considered .It was not a joyful experience. The remit of the Commission was to prevent price rises and would use any excuse not to award, so a company could be left with costs that had spiralled but no way of recovering them.

    I think I prefer the idea of energy security. What would happen if Donald is happy to be energy secure in USA and decided to join OPEC and let the price of oil rocket to make money from exports? Alternatives? Too little, too late, I would suspect.

    • Mart;

      ‘I think you will find Sherwulfe countries buy oil because their economies are based upon oil and they don’t have any, or enough, of their own.’ yes I covered that in my last post…it’s called TRADE.

      ‘Yes, you can spend many £billions trying to move your economy away from oil, but you will become bankrupt because you will be uncompetitive. And then you will be in a vicious spiral of not being able to afford any serious level of R&D, so new technology will evaporate.’…..don’t remember bringing this up, but you might want to check out India and China’s plans, oh and the Paris Agreement, oh yes and the latest investment in hydrogen fuel by the UK government. We existed without oil before the good ole Industrial Revolution aka steal everyone else’s resources, enslave populations and build dirty great buildings and statues with the money……if we stay in your world we will grind to a halt. Innovation and technology WILL be used to improve life for all and take care of the planet we call home!

      Remember M, money no longer exists except on a computer database……

  2. In case anyone from Third Energy is reading these comments: You should use radioactive tracers in each frac job. That way you can actually see vertically near bore where the frac fluid has gone and whether you’ve got any leakage behind the cement. Please send the reward c/o Drill or Drop.

  3. Al – don’t mention the “radioactive” word. The readers of this BB will be needing a defib. Temperature log will also help. Program looks good, Big Red in action soon. Wish I could be on site to see all the horse power in action.

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