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. FFR said “Yet again, the most important aspect – the will of local people facing life in a fracking gas-field – is being utterly disregarded” but isn’t the Vale of Pickering already the UK’s largest producing onshore gas field?

    Also, how is it that people can object to the approval granted by the democratically elected representatives of North Yorkshire County Council on the one hand, while simultaneously arguing that the decision to refuse made by Lancashire County Council should also be respected?

    Both of these positions puzzle me, anyone care to explain?

  2. Wasn’t there some concern about water use by fracking. In fact the figures given suggest that the one-off water use will be the average used by about 25 households over a year, so hardly a strain on an area like KM.

  3. “The will of local people” means the will of some local people (and more from elsewhere), which is quite understandable. But, it ignores the will of other people who are supportive and it suggests this is any different to any other local development that some locals don’t want. It is a continuing proposal that is a nonsense to anyone sitting on the fence, they look at this and say, “I have several developments in my locality that I don’t want, but that has always been such.” It is a weak argument, and is seen as that by anyone looking at this subject from the middle ground. But then, when you have an existing gas well, and a locality which has been quietly producing gas for many years, the arguments are going to be weak.

  4. Yes @envir. These same protesters and anti frackers agrue that the shale frackers will make a run with a huge profits from shale gas and yet at the same time claimed that shale is unviable and uneconomic loss making business. Contradict their claims all the time. If shale is uneconomic then how can they make profit to run off with. And if they make profit then it must be economical.
    They claim that fracking is a political issue opposed by people and yet the anti fracking parties did win the eclection. They claim they protect the environment but look at the swampy protesters camp they create. They claim to look after community safety but the way they build those towers right next to road line without council approve and lay on the road which are against the law. So many contradictions in both their action and reasoning.

      • Interesting, one group stands up to protect their planet, their communities, their families, and another group intends to ransack it and exploit it until there is nothing left.
        Let me see, which one is a failure in and of life? Ohhh! That’s a hard one!

        • Well, we know that the successful ones are those that have backed a technology (fracking) that has allowed the largest economy in the world to decrease carbon emissions at a greater rate than any other industrialized country, that has also delivered thousands from fuel poverty, and allowed that nation the flexibility to pursue foreign policy initiatives based on democratic ideals rather than bowing down to despotic leaders who happen to rule fossil fuel rich jurisdictions (such as Qatar).

          • Fib;
            ‘and allowed that nation the flexibility to pursue foreign policy initiatives based on democratic ideals rather than bowing down to despotic leaders’ by this you mean backing air strikes on civilians?

            I think you will find that nations ‘buy’ oil from the middle east in order to ‘sell’ products; it’s called TRADE – unfortunately the goods sadly from the USA and UK are mainly weapons….nothing is straight froward.

            I think you will find that US shale has been the catalyst for lower prices by producing a glut of unwanted oil, floating around our planet in tankers waiting for someone that does not exist to buy it before it sinks and pollutes the sea. Short prices have escalated conflict in the middle eastern regions as any conflict begins when resources are threatened. Not the Holy Grail you portray….

          • Like an auto-propaganda dispenser. Can’t help it can you Fibbs. Mostly baloney. Not sure if Norway, our no.1 gas supplier, will like being rated despotic.

          • Despotism by example:
            “Immediately following his inauguration, Trump revamped the White House website, removing any portions of the website containing information on climate change and the environment. These were both prominent on the website during Barack Obama’s presidency.

            He also has silenced those government agencies which are in place to preserve the environment, such as the EPA, and the Department of the Interior. The EPA was directed to not post anything on social media and has been told that employees are not to speak to reporters. Similarly, the President shut down the Department of the Interior twitter account after posts that he did not agree with. Many are reporting that important data collected by government agencies may be deleted if it includes scientific evidence of climate change.

            Trump has also issued an executive order to advance the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. Opening these pipelines will increase greenhouse gas emmisions, threaten the nation’s water supply, and represent a huge setback for the environmental justice movement. “

  5. As Third Energy is on the market, how about a local co-op. setting up and running it themselves, to produce income for the local community? Seems a pretty good Yorkshire type of concept.
    However, I suspect Barclays may wait and see if they can multiply the value of their asset.

  6. To respond to the first poster on this thread. Planning permission was approved by North Yorkshire County Council for fracking at KM8 on a vote of seven votes to four. This was after the application had received 4,275 objections – the majority from local people –

  7. sorry pushed a button before finished post … dang phones …
    What I was going to say was…
    Third Energy’s application got 4,375 objections – the majority of which came from people in Yorkshire – and only 36 letters of support. According to documents released by the NYCC, there was not one letter of support from anyone who lives in the four villages that surround the well-site.
    The plan was also opposed by Flamingo Land – the biggest zoo/amusement park in the UK – which is just up the road, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the Howard Estate and numerous other local businesses.
    Also, as far as elected representatives go, the Ryedale District Council opposed the application, as did every Parish Council near the well-site, and all five town councils in Ryedale (Malton, Norton, Kirkbymoorside, Pickering and Helmsley).
    While the NYCC planning committee voted 7-4 in favour of the plan, it should be noted that not a single councillor on the planning committee was from Ryedale.
    So, we have a situation where over 99% of people who responded to the fracking plans objected to the application and every local democratically elected body in Ryedale – ie the District, Town and Parish councils – also objected en masse. However, the plan was approved by seven Tory councillors who don’t live anywhere near Ryedale.
    That isn’t local democracy. That’s a political party pushing through its agenda against the wishes of the local people and its locally elected representatives.

    • Local politics is superseded by national politics. The intelligence levels shown by local councillors is not a foundation to build a country on.
      You had your chance to vote for Corbychev and he failed big time even though the Tories handed him a potential victory on a platter.
      NIMBYs are of no cause of a concern to us.

      • “This will be overturned by the SoS and the council will be fined costs. Future o&g applications may be withdrawn from council level in the future. The councillors refused on grounds that do not stand up legally.”

        That apply in this case too??

        What price consistency now GottaStickyPinkyInThePie?

        You spin so much on your axis, one day you are going to screw yourself into the ground? Oh sorry! Of course! You and your industry are all ready doing that aren’t you?

    • Hi Ellie.

      The thing is, planning is a legal and technical matter, not a political matter, with applications like shale gas decided by the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority which is usually the relevant County Council.

      Borough, Distrcit and Parish councils, whilst always consulted for their views, don’t have any more influence on the outcome than anyone else and that’s actually a good thing – it means the system is less open to abuse for political gain.

      Planning law itself is entirely democratic. The Town and Country Planning Act would have been scrutinised by Parliamentarians in both the Commons (democratically elected representatives) and the Lords as a Bill before receiving Royal Assent and becoming law. It is this Act that establishes the rules on planning and also the procedures for appeal, including the ability of the relevant Secretary of State to make the decision in cases of appeal.

      I hear what you’re saying about the number of objections outweighing letters of support but I don’t think that really counts for much: people are much more exercised and motivated to act when they oppose something than when they support it or have no opinion either way. If there were a need to build a new primary school near where you live, and you knew that the area needed it (whether or not you had family that would benefit from it) would you be bothered, of your own volition and without being prompted by a pressure group, to start writing letters of support for the proposal? If you’re honest about it, you’ll admit that’s unlikely. However, if there were a proposal to build a landfill site nearby for the disposal of hazardous waste including asbestos, you’d be more minded to object to that, wouldn’t you?

      Over 99% of people that responded to the consultation might well have objected, but 4,375 out of a Ryedale population of 51,700 (2011 census data) is only 8.46% – and only 0.72% of the North Yorkshire population of 602,300 (ONS mid-2015 population estimate). On that basis, it hardly seems that there was a groundswell of opposition.


  8. I recall there were issues regarding mass letters of objection to this that all seemed to come from one source! Besides which, who writes a letter supporting such plans, when they know they will get antisocial abuse? Social media gave a good signal to that.
    At the end of the day such applications are based upon somewhat more technical issues than who shouts the loudest. Some councillors will follow that path, others will not, and then they may be overturned, if it can be shown they have ignored process and allowed their own opinions to take precedent. If process is followed in one area, but not in another, then the lawyers will have a field day.
    Local democracy is exactly what it is, Ellie. Problem is, the system rarely pleases everyone, and when it comes down to appeals, becomes very expensive.

    • What, the 36 pro fracking letters were from one person you mean? Do you have any proof of that?

  9. GBK. The exploration will of course happen but at this snail pace the anti fracking brigades are clearly winners. They have pretty much derailed the schedule and plan for Cuadrilla. So they have achieved their agenda while the company is helpless.

  10. I know progress is slow TW, but it doesn’t make the antis winners. Whether it be Cuadrilla, Third Energy or Igas they are small players, and have little leverage to accelerate exploration.

    Just think of them as the sappers carefully clearing the way, for the combat troops to crash through! For the latter to be successful, the sappers have to proceed slowly.

    Mind you, I have always felt KM is a bit of an outlier. Suspicious it is more about Barclays seeking to increase the value of their asset prior to disposal than it is about having the ideal, chosen location, to open up a new resource. Of course, they may be lucky but I’m not expecting a game changer here.

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s