Politics

New call for block on fracking at Third Energy’s KM8 well

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Site equipment leaving the Third Energy site at Kirby Misperton Photo: Steven Spy

Fracking Week in Parliament.

The Business Secretary, Greg Clark, was urged again this week not to approve Third Energy’s bid to frack in North Yorkshire.

Mr Clark reported to parliament in January that he had asked for an assessment of Third Energy’s financial resilience before granting hydraulic fracturing consent for the KM8 well at Kirby Misperton. (DrillOrDrop report).

This week, Third Energy released some equipment from the site because of the delay.

carolinelucas

In a written question, the Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas (pictured left), asked Mr Clark to hold his decision until the Environment Agency had investigated what chemicals had been put down another well at Kirby Misperton.

This issue was reported in October 2017, when Friends of the Earth published a review on Third Energy’s groundwater monitoring data for Kirby Misperton. DrillOrDrop report

The data showed high levels of methane in a nearby aquifer but did not explain whether this was linked to the use of a nearby well, KM3, for injecting waste water.

Third Energy rejected the link between the methane levels and its operations as “unfounded”.

Claire PerryAnswering for Mr Clark, the Energy Minister, Claire Perry, said the consent process was still ongoing.

She said:

“The Department will respond further, as appropriate, in due course.”

Financial resilence

In a separate question, Dr Lucas asked the Business Secretary:

“What criteria he will use to assess the financial resilience of (a) Third Energy UK Gas Limited and (b) other companies proposing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations in England.”

Replying for Mr Clark, Ms Perry said:

“As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 25 January, the Secretary of State has asked the Infrastructure and Projects Authority for an assessment of the financial resilience of the company and will respond further in due course as appropriate.”

Local rejection of shale gas exploration in Derbyshire

Lee Rowley MP2

Library picture

The North East Derbyshire MP, Lee Rowley (pictured left), said local people’s voices had to be heard when large-scale developments went through the planning system.

He was talking in a debate about housing, planning and the greenbelt the day after he had urged Derbyshire County Council’s planning committee to oppose INEOS plans for a shale gas exploration well at Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report

Referring to the proposals for a 60m drilling rig, Mr Rowley said:

“When we have large-scale planning proposals such as that one, which will see the wholesale industrialisation of significant rural parts of our country, which local people are told that they should accept, despite not being able to have incremental increases in affordable housing in their local villages, they find that very difficult to accept.”

He said there had to be confidence in the planning system by “by ensuring that such large-scale and often unwanted developments are contextualised in a system in which people are heard.”

Policing fracking in Lancashire

Julie Cooper MPDuring a debate on police grants, Labour’s Julie Cooper (Burnley) referred to the £5.9m cost of policing Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool.

She said Lancashire Police had maintained its reserves below the required 5%.

“It is a good job that the Lancashire constabulary has been so prudent, because in the past 12 months it has been required to foot the £5.9 million bill for policing fracking in Lancashire. Goodness knows where the funding would have come from to pay for that had Lancashire not been so prudent.”

Lancashire Police is still waiting to hear whether it will receive special grant aid towards the cost of the operation.


Transcripts

With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts

Question by Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2017 to Question 115005, on Fracking: Ryedale, if he will make it his Department’s policy not to approve fracking at KM8 Ryedale while the Environment Agency investigations into (a) the type and volume of chemicals that have been put down KM3 and (b) whether those chemicals have caused fractures are ongoing.

Reply by Claire Perry, Conservative, Devizes, Energy Minister

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 25 January, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has informed Parliament and the Oil and Gas Authority of the current state of the process, which is still ongoing. The Department will respond further, as appropriate, in due course.

Written question, 8 February 2018, Link to transcript


Question by Caroline Lucas

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Written Ministerial Statement of 25 January 2018, on Energy Policy, HCWS#428, what criteria he will use to assess the financial resilience of (a) Third Energy UK Gas Limited and (b) other companies proposing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations in England.

Reply by Claire Perry

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 25 January, the Secretary of State has asked the Infrastructure and Projects Authority for an assessment of the financial resilience of the company and will respond further in due course as appropriate.

Written question, 7 February 2018, Link to transcript


Extract of speech by Julie Cooper, Labour, Burnley, Shadow Community Health Minister

“In Lancashire, earmarked reserves are kept for the modernisation of the force, so that it can attempt, in the face of so many challenges, to keep one step ahead of the criminals and adapt to the changing nature of crime. General reserves remain just below the required 5%. It is a good job that the Lancashire constabulary has been so prudent, because in the past 12 months it has been required to foot the £5.9 million bill for policing fracking in Lancashire. Goodness knows where the funding would have come from to pay for that had Lancashire not been so prudent.”

Debate on Police Grant Report, 7 February 2018, Link to transcript


Extract of speech by Lee Rowley, Conservative, North East Derbyshire

On confidence in the planning system, he said:

“I would also say—I know I am going slightly off the point about housing—that such confidence is also undermined when we look at hydraulic fracturing. I spent most of yesterday in a planning committee meeting in Matlock for Derbyshire County Council to make a decision on fracking. When we have large-scale planning proposals such as that one, which will see the wholesale industrialisation of significant rural parts of our country, which local people are told that they should accept, despite not being able to have incremental increases in affordable housing in their local villages, they find that very difficult to accept.

“I welcome the Localism Act, even though it brings challenges. We have to look at ways in which we can rebalance our approach in such matters from a regional perspective. However, we must also make sure that there is confidence in such planning approaches and in the planning system by ensuring that such large-scale and often unwanted developments are contextualised in a system in which people are heard.”

Debate on housing, planning and the green belt, 6 February 2018, link to transcript

14 replies »

    • High levels of methane in a nearby aquifer, company accounts behind, debt, and concerns over financial resiliance.

      No wonder the contractors are keen to leave and head back to the yard.

      They can read the signs like every one else.

      • More studies on fracking and cancer

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5363003/Fracking-linked-breast-cancer.html

        Of course the Anti anti’s will quickly remind us that virtually no chemicals will be used for exploration in the UK

        The question the public will then ask is why then do the Americans spend billions of dollars on pouring vast amounts of cancer forming chemicals down their wells when the UK pour none.

        I see two plausible answers

        The first is that the Americans have no idea what they are doing and are pouring the chemicals needlessly when actually you only need sand and water, or,

        The Americans who have been fracking for years have spent billions working out which chemicals give maximum gas yields and use them all the time.

        If you think the second answer is the right one then you would conclude that if commercial fracking was to happen in the UK then these types of chemicals would be needed to maximise gas yields and the reason that none is used at present is an exercise to hoodwink the UK public about the realities of large scale shale gas developments.

        If you think the first answer is correct I suggest you patent the high yield complex compound of sand and water and sell it to the Americans. I am sure they would pay handsomely to save billions on the unnecessary chemicals they have been tipping down their wells for the last decade.

        • Spot on John Powney. It’s the old planning trick of applying for something that sounds innocuous and then once their plans are underway, changing them incrementally. Look at Cuadrilla at PNR. There were to be no nighttime deliveries but that was changed. All water from the pad was to be taken away and treated off site, but that has turned out to be very expensive for Cuadrilla so, surprise surprise, Cuadrilla have now applied to treat the water themselves on site and then dump it in the nearby brook. As for the traffic management plan which was put in place as a condition of the planning permission, Cuadrilla are now on their thirteenth version of that. No doubt when the time comes, it will be found, as you say, that more and more chemicals from that toxic US list are suddenly found to be essential after all.

      • It’s all that empty space. They keep on about anyone with “half a brain” can see whatever, now we know why? I think they forget to put the word “cell” after “brain”?

  1. The long goodbye. The frackers hate the scrutiny. We will take a leaf out of the frackers PR manual: repetition. Except we keep repeating the truth: unconventional gas extraction is strongly associated with air pollution and water contamination, scores of companies have gone bust in the US and the same could happen here: operating companies always have negative assets and insufficient public liability so that they can walk away when contamination events get costly. The bond posted is woefully inadequate should contamination need dealing with. There is air pollution always from these sites: this is likely cause of low birth weight and a raft of other health issues. There is always “temporary” noise above legal limits from drilling and fracking, and frackers want to drill where they like, frequently as fracked well output halves in just a year. Frackers drill loudly regardless of how close homes are.

  2. Perhaps, Sherwulfe, if you had checked when the posts were done (the clue is in the TIME) that the echo comment was BEFORE JP made a comment ie. directed elsewhere. Sorry for the confusion.

  3. the tree huggers think they have scored some sort of victory over third energy releasing some equipment, it’s pathetic, of course, third energy have released equipment they are paying hire charges for it to be there. so anyone with half a brain would off hire it till they need it. as third energy has done.

  4. It looks like “Spherical Objects” are back on the shimmy shill shunt shale huggers sale slogans again?….i can write that but i cant pronounce it?

    Perhaps all this equipment moving is just a load of……spherical objects? Perhaps the shimmy shill shale huggers sale slogan shooters think….they do think don’t they? That anyone with half a brain cell will fall for that old excuse?

    We are not retreating from Europe! We are just advancing in another direction! Or perhaps all those films of all these expensive equipment being delivered just slipped into reverse? That’s it isn’t it? its just a camera fault!

    Honest Investors! Come back! We have a tea urn and some cakes we…..eerrr,…..found, outside the gate! Don’t go away! We are giving out free toys with every share!

    Naah mate! Its more likely to be unpaid bills and insurance?

    After all 4th Enemy might just decide to do another equipment fake sabotage set up to blame it on the protectors, and the equipment owners are just protecting their own property aren’t they?

  5. UK shale is being stranded and strangle at birth. Nimby too wrak decision making government lack of investment interest unknown economic viability and high cost of wells. Too many risk factor to make it work or get off the ground.

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