Newspaper article prompts Third Energy to confirm no test fracks at N Yorks site

180118 KM Eddie Thornton 1

Third Energy’s KM8 site at Kirby Misperton, 18 January 2018. Photo: Eddie Thornton

A newspaper article in North Yorkshire led to speculation during the weekend that gas company, Third Energy, had already carried out test fracks at its Kirby Misperton well site.

A sentence in the article in the Scarborough News, signed by Third Energy director, Alan Linn, said:

“The work which Third Energy is progressing in Kirby Misperton takes advantage of an existing well where we have completed a series of test fracs and testing their potential to flow gas in commercial volumes.”

180118 Scarborough Evening News extract

Extract from article in the Scarborough News, published 18 January 2018

Some people living around Third Energy’s KM8 well became anxious that the company had fracked, without telling them and without the final consent needed from the government.

But this morning the Scarborough News confirmed that it had edited the text, misinterpreting a briefing from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The key words that caused the anxiety “where we have completed a series of test fracks” had been changed from “where we will be completing a series of test fracks”.

Third Energy said in early November that it was ready to frack at KM8 (DrillOrDrop report). But more than 10  weeks later, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not yet given permission and there is no public timetable for a decision.

Some residents in the area have described how emotions were already running high before they read the newspaper article and confidence in Third Energy was being eroded.

There had been concern that noise and vibration in the early hours of 30 November 2017 was linked to operations at the KM8 well site.

A spokesperson for Third Energy said this afternoon:

“In November 2017, the Malton & Pickering Mercury, part of Scarborough News, requested Third Energy to write an op-ed on its planned hydraulic fracturing programme in Ryedale.

“However, the Scarborough News made an edit to the text, creating a significant inaccuracy, before publication on 18 January 2018.  This was done without Third Energy’s knowledge and is especially disappointing as the text carried the by-line of Alan Linn, a Third Energy director.

“The Scarborough News will be publishing a correction in their next edition.

“For the record, Third Energy confirms that no test hydraulic fractures have taken place at Kirby Misperton.

“Third Energy has followed the regulatory regime for associated hydraulic fracturing as required by the Infrastructure Act of 2015. The company has all the required approvals from the regulators for associated hydraulic fracturing and we await the Secretary of State’s consent before hydraulic fracturing can begin.”

In response to questions from DrillOrDrop, Third Energy said there had been no form of fracture stimulation, test frack or hydraulic fracturing operation on 30 November 2017. The company also said no fluid had been circulated in the KM8 well on that day.

The Scarborough News said in an article this evening:

“A report in The Scarborough News and Malton & Pickering Mercury incorrectly stated that test fracks had already taken place at the KM8 site. The newspapers apologise for the error.”

Criticism and distrust

Frack Free Ryedale, which opposes Third Energy’s operation at Kirby Misperton, has repeatedly questioned the company’s operations.

The group recently called for the publication of Third Energy’s accounts, now overdue by three months. It also raised concerns about the appointment to a Third Energy board of Keith Cochrane, the interim chief executive of the now collapsed services company, Carillion.

Earlier this month, Frack Free Ryedale’s solicitor threatened a judicial review and injunction if consent for fracking was granted without official monitoring of a gas pipeline and hydrogen sulphide tests on rocks to be fracked. (DrillOrDrop report)

Hazel Winter, who lives in Kirby Misperton, said:

“Communication from the company has always been reactive rather than proactive and a lack of transparency from the outset has led to distrust.

“I was told at the very first public consultation that no start date for the operation was known, yet villagers received a letter the following day giving us a week’s notice.

“Reports from villagers of an odour, suspected to be low levels of hydrogen sulphide, provoked very little response and Environment Agency equipment was unable to pick up anything because of high wind.

“On behalf of the village I asked for a letter to be sent to confirm arrangements for Christmas, this was declined. Questions still remain regarding evacuation of the village in an emergency.”

15 replies »

  1. Phew……….. The ‘anxiety’ I experienced overwhelmed me to the point I stayed under the duvet all day blogging the the world will come to a swift end once TE get the final go ahead. I’m glad this was simply a misinterpreted quote and can now get out of my animal themed XL onesie and get back to brewing my moonshine!

    • Come on Peeny – admit it – you were really under your duvet using all of your IDs desperately trying to convince the online world that AJ Lucas and Caudrilla aren’t desperately short of cash. 😂

      Is your onesie a pink unicorn by any chance?

      • Still can’t get that old brain of yours to work out that I’m not an American. This actually proves that you and your little band of followers cannot be educated hence why you’re still playing an outdated drum on the fracking issue.
        Why not just retire Hobbit and leave the keyboard warrior stuff to one of your younger comrades?

        • Oh Really? How interesting? Memory problems is it? My memory is fine.

          Do i recall something you posted about multiple id’s from last year? What did you call it now? “Shadow boxing” wasn’t it? Perhaps we are too well educated to fall for that old thing……peeny?

          Always a pleasure!

          • Jeez not you as well Phil. The real truth is always out there for you to find however, I have worked out that you lot are literally too lazy or not intelligent enough to go about it.
            Continue to call me Peeny in the same way you continue to spout nonsense you read on some Russian funded anti everything website.

            • Dear oh dear, the old fake news Russian ploy too? Thats a very obvious BBC/CNN/Fox/CIA/FBI etc etc connivance fake news US fixation too. Trump called out all those fake news media alphabet soup secret agency fronts recently too, its all smoke and mirrors, something we get a lot of from the anti antis here.
              Do you seriously think we don’t know that?
              And all you fake news anti anti corporate front windows have the sheer bs nerve to try and cut and paste that bs partiality smear onto your long suffering hosts Drill ir Drop! What a farce! We support Drill or Drop, you lot don’t have the common decency to even thank your hosts for the privilege of insulting them! How sick is that!
              We know what corporate reframing is all about, we see enough of it here on Drill Or Drop! Time to call it out and call a spook a spook.

              We are far too intelligent not to know that this anti Russian anti British rubbish is all nothing more than a Clinton/Obama/Trump/Putin internecine fake news warfare fabrication for the consumption of the unwary.
              Oh what a tangled fake web is weaved on these pages? And all those self congratulatory multiple id’s? Did you seriously imagine that is not totally transparent? We were not born yesterday! But lots of fake id’s were!
              Most of the time we just ignore the obvious multiple id’s, bigging each other up, but do try to understand none of us are fooled for one second.

              Good that clears the fracking air for a bit until the next installment of fake fracking news gets trotted out to big up the growing fracking debacle.

              Have a nice day, I’m off to talk to some sane people who are trying to change the world for everyone for the better.

  2. Once down under, no one properly checks what they get up to. They have been able to get away with whatever, for decades! No surprise therefore that they may have fracked or even acidised that thr sandstone with HF. Who knows? Who can tell? Certainly not us poor ignorant members of the public. Certainly not the EA. And what goes on down under is of no interest whatsoever to the planners, poor blinkeed, myopic souls. How alarming for the oil and gas industry that suddenly a nationwide posse of community sleuths are on their case.

  3. It also strikes me as odd that the Scarborough News would be publishing a Statement from a private company in this form anyway – rather than as a normal news article. When did they start just publishing verbatim statements from fracking companies? Was it around the time that their journalists were taken on an all-expenses-paid trip to the USA by INEOS to see the ‘benefits’ of fracking, perhaps?

  4. Well, quite tense in the anti camp.

    “Incorrect information published”–shock, horror.

    “Community sleuths” or “ignorant members of the public”, Kathryn? Sounds a tad like playing both hands.

    Someone should start some yoga classes around KM to calm those too easily excited. Interesting though that some antis who have been claiming Armageddon will happen were worried they could have missed it! Playing both hands again?

  5. Questions relating to the evacuation of the village in an emergency should be addressed to the North Yorkshire Resilance and Emergency unit I guess, as they are the ones who pull all that stuff together. Maybe they do not consider that the village needs a specific evacuation plan and that the generic one, which they have, will do?

    I note that while Pickering has a local ( community ) ERP, Kirby Misperton does not have one.

    ERPs for those living next to Major Accident Hazard Sites ( COMAH) usually has, inter alia, the following guidance….

    1. For gas or dense smoke … shut all windows and doors, stay inside and listen to the radio ( and the rescue services will turn up in due course

    That advice holds good for any smell, life threatening or not, ( such as from rendering plants ), but without the need to evacuate a village.

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