Updated: Campaigners occupy rig at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton fracking site

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Rig occupation at Third Energy’s KM8 fracking site in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, 21 October 20117. Photo: Leigh Coghill

Updated 6.30pm with new information and pictures

Three opponents of Third Energy’s plans to frack at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire occupied the workover rig at the site early this morning.

The action comes as Third Energy has given notice of its intention to begin hydraulic fracturing later this week. (See Notice of fracking at the end of this post)

North Yorkshire Police said officers were called at about 3am by site security who reported three people had gained access to the site. Third Energy has condemned the protest.

A police statement issued on Facebook just before midday said:

“Two men and a woman climbed onto a platform 60ft up a rig inside the site and have remained there since.”

“Once again, emergency services resources will have to be deployed to deal with this situation”.

Since then, at 3.45pm, one of the men has come down. He was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage. Third Energy has provided safety harnesses to the remaining two campaigners.

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Rig protest at Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton, 21 October 2017. Photo: Kirby Misperton Protection Camp

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Rig protest at Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton, 21 October 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

The campaigners posted short videos this morning explaining that they have food, blankets and a tarpaulin. They said in a statement at 3.30pm:

“This is both a local and international emergency. It’s not just about Kirby Misperton – once fracking happens in one area of the UK, the rest of the country will be affected. We had no choice, democracy is being overruled again and again and the government and corporations are ignoring our wishes. We have no choice but to stand up and mobilize, take action!

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Protest on rig platform at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site, 21 October 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

The statement added:

“It is loud up here because of the wind and there is a movement in the rig. We have a tarp so we hope to stay dry as possible. We also have supplies and we will be here for as long as possible, as long as it takes for Third Energy, other fracking companies, and the government to listen.”

On the ground, other campaigners have been sending messages to the people on the rig by megaphone. Messages are also being attached to the site fences.

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Protest at the Kirby Misperton site fence, 21 October 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

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Protest at the Kirby Misperton fence, 21 October 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

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Campaigners talking to people on the Third Energy rig from the ground, 21 October 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Earlier today, the campaigners posted pictures from the rig platform.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Third Energy condemns protest

Third Energy issued a statement at 11am today

“Third Energy can confirm that one female and two males have broken into the KMA live gas well site in Kirby Misperton early on the morning of 21 October.  The intruders have climbed up the workover rig, currently mobilised to the KM8 well, and are occupying the platform known as the monkey board.

“The company strongly condemns this reckless action that potentially has serious health and safety consequences for both the intruders and the people working on the site.  In particular, the intruders have been advised by police loud hailer of the serious risk created by open flames and sparks on a live gas site.

“The current work programme with the rig has been completed and the rig is ready to be demobilised.”

Third Energy made a second statement at about 5.30pm:

171021 KM Third Energy statement

North Yorkshire Police said it needed to take action when peaceful protest turned to what it described as “deliberate acts that are unlawful, cause unreasonable disruption to others or are dangerous”. It added:

“Our immediate concern is the safety and welfare of the protesters. Officers are on site assessing the situation.

“If the safety of those on the rig is put at risk then we will take appropriate action to bring the protest to safe conclusion.”

“Compelled to take a strong and visible stand”

In a statement this morning, the rig campaigners on the rig issued statement explaining the reason for the protest:

“We took this action because we feel compelled to make a strong and visible stand against this industry which threatens so much for all of us and future generations; drinkable water, clean air and the very stability of the land beneath our feet are in danger.

“Fracking only benefits a few at the expense of the many. We want to inspire others and demonstrate the power we have when we take a stand.”

The Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, which has been protesting against Third Energy since December 2016, said this morning:

“Our community has fought fracking within the planning and legal systems for years, and continues to do so whilst our evidence and testimony is thoroughly disregarded. The company currently has permission to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so this weekend’s action has effectively closed them down.

“The fracking of our communities is not acceptable to us, and this industry provides no answer to the serious problem of energy security in times of a climate emergency. Whilst we fight for a sustainable approach to our national resources, we are taking responsibility for their protection.

“This peaceful, non-violent action harms no-one.”

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Third Energy’s workover rig at the Kirby Misperton fracking site, 21 October 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Notice of fracking

A letter emerged yesterday, sent by Third Energy’s planning consultant to North Yorkshire County Council giving notice that fracking would begin from next week.

The letter said:

“This letter constitutes notice under the agreed Deed dated 11th September 2017, that our client, Third Energy UK Gas Limited, will commence Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation and Testing, the KMA wellsite, on or after 26th October 2017.”

This will be the first use of high volume hydraulic fracturing in the UK since the process at Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall well led to small earthquakes in April and May 2011.

Two days ago, the energy minister, Richard Harrington, said the government was assessing the application for hydraulic fracturing consent from Third Energy and would “respond appropriately in due course.”

He was responding to a question by shadow energy secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey.

In another question yesterday, Ms Long Bailey asked for applications for fracking consent and the government’s assessment to be published.

Mr Harrington replied:

“The majority of information contained in a hydraulic fracturing consent application will already be in the public domain. The Department [of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy] plans to publish its response, as appropriate, an in line with its obligations under the Environmental Information Regulations.”

Link to question and answer

  • We are updating this post with new details as they become available

94 replies »

    • Gwen green growers
      I am not sure that failure to get what you want is a failure of democracy.
      Better to work on the electorate to vote in the candidate or party who is closest to your wants. And even then, you may get less ( or more ) than you bargained for.
      If the country votes in a party that bans fracking, I doubt that companies will be fracking in secret.
      No doubt that would open up,the debate as to what constitutes fracking. For some anything other than drilling a hole and waiting for Hydrocarbons to appear is fracking and needs banning.

      • People vote tribally, and it’s hard to break through those tribal boundaries. People in this country have as yet rarely considered fracking or related practices when casting their vote. The Fylde in particular needs to think about what they have voted for.

          • Katheryn
            Re voting tribally. Yes, that makes sense.
            There have been some issues where the tribes split I think.
            Brexit would be one maybe.
            Mansfield voting in a conservative may be another. Although in the latter case, according to those in the ward, the incumbent did not mention Mansfield ever, hence a candidate promising to represent the place won the poulat vote. I am sure it was not quite as simple as that, but it’s a consistent story.

    • Because they’ve done their homework Paula, and decided the risks aren’t worth it. Besides whole countries you’ve got 3 States in the USA (New York State, Maryland and Vermont) and dozens of counties with bans or moratoriums in place.

  1. “In particular, the intruders have been advised by police loud hailer of the serious risk created by open flames and sparks on a live gas site.” As the supporters continue to claim how safe this industry is, we hear there is a risk if gas leaking from the site. Do any of these sites ever not leak?

    • The risk is extremely small – just the same as there is an extremely small risk of fire at a petrol station. However, you wouldn’t walk onto a petrol station forecourt and let flares off there, would you?

      They proudly state they have food – do they have water too? Or a mobile phone charger – oh wait, no electricity up there….

      How are they going to dispose of their urine and feces in an environmentally responsible manner?

      And I hope they don’t jump around too much – the Monkey Board is primarily designed to take a horizontal loading, not the vertical loading of three people on it…

      • ‘How are they going to dispose of their urine and faeces in an environmentally responsible manner?’

        Throw it down the well would presumably be acceptable to pro frackers

        ‘passing any substance through, or putting any substance into,
        deep-level land or infrastructure installed in deep-level land’


        Another extremely serious reason why fracking will never happen.

        Do all those who support fracking support this bill?

        • I suspect they will dispose of such waste precisely as the operators do, and have always intended to do, to use the well as one big high pressure waste disposal water closet, complete with the inevitably associated gas of course? Somewhat ironic too?

            • Ha! Ha! Hewes69
              Why So Serious? Isn’t that what the ohandgee intend to do to us? Never mind, panic over they are safe now, but nice of you to be so concerned about their safety?

              Enjoy your Sunday lunch.

            • Ooops, careful hewes69 you could be revealing the industry secret ingredient for a bio degradable friction reducer? At least that would explain the smell? Maybe that is one secret ingredients they do not want to hold too close to their chest?

          • You should already be aware that deep injection of waste water is illegal in the UK. Or does that not fit in with your world view?

        • Clutching at straws JP.

          The legislation was promulgated to put into law what had been already established by case law many years ago; namely that drilling below someones land was not trespass.

          The legislation recognises that it would be well nigh impossible to list all the materials that are, or can be used during the drilling and completion operations, hence that language.

          To use that to suggest that something else (like Nuclear waste, as has been mentioned here before) is just fantasy.

          • The fantasy injuneer, is to deny the facts, look at the evidence for plans for dumping nuclear waste in depleted boreholes in USA and UK combined with the move to be able to dump any toxic waste beneath put feet without consultation or notification and as you say the denial of trespass rights to prevent such actions under private land. Why is that even necessary?

            That is perfectly obvious.

            We add 2 and 2, and get 4. But the industry blinkered view, from an attitude of denial, it appears, adds 2 and 2 and gets 0, at least in public.

            Blanket denials don’t convince.

  2. Short term gain long term pain for the antis. I can guarantee this has just reinforced the upcoming injunction by Ineos.
    Once you start taking supplies and put emergency services lives at risk it’s game over for anymore leniency.
    Can we get some clarification DoD on whom these ppl are ie are they locals, are they homeless, do they have jobs, do they contribute to the economy through paying tax? I suspect I already know the answers to all these.
    Not long till fracking starts, yippee.

  3. Fills me with hope to see these brave protectors up a blustery tower defending their rights to clean water and air ! This dirty out dated fracking industry is not wanted in Kirby Misperton nor anywhere else in this country. Those criticising these peaceful activists need to read and learn about fracking instead of blindly following the Tory party line. No new jobs, no domestic gas, and our beautiful countryside will be left contaminated with poisonous waste.

    • Another great protector of human rights went to jail for his cause for 27 years… it’s the nature of the ruling aggressor….

      • Pml the pathetic Mandela card being thrown in here now. Always remember one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist.

          • Hi Sherwulfe,

            If Mandela acted in the UK now the way he acted in SA before he was jailed, he would indeed be regarded as a Terrorist. Unfortunately his wife was notorious for her encouragement of things like ‘necklacing’ – which meant putting a tyre around someones neck, filling it with petrol and then setting it on fire after cutting the tendons in his arms, so he couldn’t lift the tyre off.

            Just the same as some regard the PLO / Hamas / Hezbollah / IRA as terrorists and others regard them as freedom fighters.

            I suspect the main difference between Nelson Mandela and the ones I mentioned is that he was fighting for a just cause that he believed in – the others are mainly in it for the power and money..

            • ‘I suspect the main difference between Nelson Mandela and the ones I mentioned is that he was fighting for a just cause that he believed in – the others are mainly in it for the power and money..’

              A perfect summary for what is going on here. There are now thousands of people fighting against the ‘fracking’ industry world wide and even more against further fossil fuel extraction. A just cause indeed.

              And those in it for the ‘power and money’, well we all know who they are………

  4. Why do other countries practice capital punishment Paula? What other countries do is a different subject altogether. If that is the strength of the antis argument, it will not stop any injunction, but be laughed out of court.

  5. Seriously quit with the word ‘protector’ it makes me cringe every time I see it used. Use ‘Google Gods’, ‘trespassers’, ‘people of no fixed address’ or ‘people that don’t respect authority’ instead.
    You aren’t protecting anything.

    • Protector of human rights, GBK.

      Sorry it makes you cringe, but I’m sure many are cringing when they hear the word ‘fracking’ – however you choose to spell it or define the process.

      Your negative, and indeed questionable labeling of persons who stand up for a cause will do you no favours.

      [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

      • It appears there are many aspects to the control systems that we are seeing the surface of now with this aspect of corporate control mechanisms.

        Interesting Corbett Report on the corporate surge to own and restrict all resources and the move to control global resources under the heading “Sustainable Development”. This is interesting in that one activity is driving people towards the other controlled monopolising activity.

        https://www.bitchute.com/video/_ofmAGaMfkA/ (ps, bitchute is an alternative to the deeply compromised you tube and does not trace your viewing activity or sell your statistics)

        This follows up from the two previously posted documentaries, Why and How Big Oil, you can go to the Corbett Report to find those two, also available on you tube.

        The message perhaps one could derive from this, is that any hegelian dialectic situation, ie, problem, reaction, solution, is a corporate control mechanism. That would indicate that we do not do anything through multinational and established government and established private corporate organisations, but to separate ourselves from their stranglehold and carry it out locally in public independent communities.

        Have a good Sunday.

        [Correction at poster’s request]

    • Oh dear, the usual descent into name calling and denegation to turn the perceived opposition into an easily manageable cypher for veiled insults.

      Though such easy and dirty labels do tend to backfire on those who can only perceive a situation by use of these cheap and nasty epithetical expedient shaky rostrum mounted rant poses.

      “Protectors” is perfectly correct if you must use a tabloid label, that is to protect us all from the destruction of communities and peoples lives by the process of fracking, or indeed political, industrial and corporate greed and avarice that identifies and illustrates the present ohandgee invasion situation.

      Does that explain the unnecessary terminology sufficiently enough?

      OK, how about “anti-bodies” for protectors, and “ignoravirus” for the onshore ohandgee contagion industry?

      Certainly that should fit the situation quite accurately if we really must descend into silly labels and name calling?

    • I consider myself a protector. I am a custodian of the planet. I take a balanced realistic approach.

      Fracking for shale gas is not needed. We are moving onto renewable energy at a fast pace. We have to and it is the most logical solution to global energy security.

      Your arguments on importing LNG are ridiculous. There are thousands of containers arriving daily bringing goods from China and yet you don’t seem to have a problem with this.

      We have no need for a new interim fossil fuel which obviously is problematic as it has been left till the last.

      All efforts should be to promote energy saving and invest in infinite sourced renewable energy.

      Of course if pro frackers do drive round in all Britsh morris marinas and refuse imported goods in their homes then their arguments regarding the potential damage of importing energy are much stronger.

      I can’t say I have seen many morris marinas around lately.

  6. So, it is only the antis who have researched fracking, and only they know the facts! Pretty arrogant, and from the number of factually incorrect posts, absolutely inaccurate.

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