Third Energy’s fracking plan approved for N Yorks well at Kirby Misperton

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Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site in North Yorkshire, 27 September 2017. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The Environment Agency announced this afternoon it has approved Third Energy’s hydraulic fracturing plan for the Kirby Misperton site in North Yorkshire.

The news comes as Third Energy moved a workover rig onto the site this morning (DrillOrDrop report).

Third Energy welcomed the decision. The company’s chief executive, Rasik Valand, said:

“We are very pleased to have achieved another significant regulatory milestone towards hydraulic fracturing of our KM8 well following a thorough review of all the technical issues and protections. We will now be in a position to prepare and submit a formal application to the Secretary of State for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent (HFC).

“The Hydraulic Fracture Plan is a technical document that sets out how the company will meet a range of specific regulatory protections around hydraulic fracturing. These measures are in addition to the established regulatory environment which covers all onshore oil and gas development.”

“Sad day for Ryedale”

Cllr Di Keal from Frack Free United said:

“This is a sad day for Ryedale – only one more step remains until the district faces the reality of fracking and the devastation it will bring.

“Hydraulic fracturing is a completely unknown industry in England and the Environment Agency has no expertise or sufficient manpower to regulate it, so how can they claim that they are confident that Third Energy’s operations will be safe?

“We have seen the horror of water pollution, health implications and devastation of agricultural land in the US, Canada and Australia – how dare the Tory government inflict this dirty industry on the UK and effectively treat us as guinea pigs.”

Simon Bowens, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said:

“A matter of mere days after Scotland effectively banned fracking, England is the only country left pursuing it in the UK. The responsibility now lies with the Minister, Greg Clark to stop this industry: it is an unwanted, unneeded, and unnecessary presence in Yorkshire.”

EA satisfied with arrangements

In a statement, an EA spokesperson said:

“We are satisfied with Third Energy’s arrangements for monitoring during and after hydraulic fracturing. The Environment Agency is committed to ensuring that shale gas operations meet the highest environmental standards and can only go ahead if they are safe for people and the environment.

“Our environmental permits set out the legal conditions needed to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and to ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste. Our staff will continue to carry out regular on-site checks and audits to ensure that the company is meeting the high standards we require.”

The EA issued permits for the proposed operation at the KM8 well in April 2016. They cover ground and surface water, emissions, storage of waste and noise from mining operations.

The 37-page hydraulic fracturing plan is one of the final permissions needed before Third Energy can go ahead and frack the well.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) must also be satisfied that hydraulic fracturing will not cause seismic events.

The final step is for the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to check that all the conditions required under section 50 of the Infrastructure Act have been met. These cover the depth and location of the proposed fracturing, monitoring arrangements and other permissions. The OGA will then issue a formal consent.

The fracturing plan proposes to frack five zones of the KM8 well, drilled in 2013. They range in depth from 2,123m to 3,043m. Each stage is expected to take between 1 and 3.5 hours.

According to the plan, the total volume of water to be used will be 3,291 cubic meters, ranging from 424.90 cubic meters for zone A to 1,248.90 cubic meters for zone E. The flowback from each zone is predicted to be 30-50% of the fluid volume.

Last week, the company said it expected to complete fracking before the end of the year. After that, it  proposes to test the flow of gas in the well.


Environment Agency page on KM8

Hydraulic fracturing plan

Section 50 of the Infrastructure Act

21 replies »

  1. This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
    Dear for her reputation through the world,
    Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
    Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
    England, bound in with the triumphant sea
    Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
    Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
    With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
    That England, that was wont to conquer others,
    Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
    Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
    How happy then were my ensuing death!

    Will Shakespeare: the last stanza from John of Gaunt describes England


    It were a shame to let this land by lease;
    But for thy world enjoying but this land,
    Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
    Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
    Thy state of law is bondslave to the law; And thou—

  2. Thank goodness for that. What will happen when this highly regulated technology is shown to be totally benign? What will the swampies (and misinformed grannies and grandpas) do then? Of course their lights will stay on, but that happens automatically doesn’t it? as its normally powered by fairy dust?

    Honestly, all the whingeing about a few trucks, to perform a well researched and safe technology……

  3. We should celebrate fact we’re using local gas (REM: Friends of the Earth advocate ‘Shop local’), and so this has a much smaller CO2 transportation footprint than importing shale gas from USA, or LNG from Algeria & Qatar; or piped gas from Russia.

    It will also help minimise future energy price increases for the 84% of GB home-owners who *choose* to use natural gas for cooking & heating their homes.

    • “Enter, stranger, but take heed
      Of what awaits the sin of greed,
      For those who take, but do not earn,
      Must pay most dearly in their turn.
      So if you seek beneath our floors
      A treasure that was never yours,
      Thief, you have been warned, beware
      Of finding more than treasure there.”

      “Don’t let a thief into your house three times. The first time was enough. The second time was a chance. The third time means you’re stupid.”
      ― C. JoyBell C.

      “Beware the fury of a patient man.”
      ― John Dryden

  4. [Edited by moderator]
    If you have time to post your rubbish on here you have time to do some research into this shocking industry.

  5. EA have experts. experts know more than green eyed grannies. when i fly in a plane i rely on the expertise in design, build and service, not on a granny telling me if god wanted us to fly he would have given us wings. have some faith in experts, or you are an idiot.

  6. EA have order followers who know exactly how long their leash is. Their job is to hide, obfuscate and cover up for the industry. Sadly this has been the case globally and will be no different here. Wake up and smell the coffee before you smell the BTEX.
    There is a picture emerging on here that many who post are likely involved with this industry or paid opposition. It is sad to see this level of denial.

    • Andrew
      Are you really sure you are correct, or it’s just your opinion.
      Surely the EA are part of the regulatory process, as are the HSE and planners.
      I cannot imagine people ask the careers advisor, ‘ do you know of a job where I can hide, obsfucate and cover up for industry, or cover up for whoever has a majority in Westminster’?
      And they say, yes, try any of the regulatory bodies in the U.K!

  7. Regulation alone will not ensure safety. Take the food industry which is highly regulated yet chicken contaminated with bacteria are the norm, because there are not enough inspectors to enforce them. This would also be the case in the HSE and Environment agency where staff numbers have been cut massively. Did regulation stop this?

    • Perhaps we should all stop eating chicken – and all meat for that matter. By this logic, we should also stop driving, using most consumer goods, heating our homes, and drinking fluids. After all, regulation cannot protect us from all risk, can they?

    • David Herbert
      No regulation has been broken at Broadford Bridge. The RNS lays out what the problems are, and how they will be fixed.
      One could discuss, here on this board, if sub optimal cement bonding in the fractured lower part of the well constitutes a well integrity problem.
      Increasing inspector numbers by 1000% would have any bearing on the issue.

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