Third Energy’s N Yorks frack could be delayed until autumn

180305 KM Steve Spy 4

Removal of part of the sound screen from Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton. Photo: Steve Spy

Any fracking at Third Energy’s well at Kirby Misperton could have to wait until the autumn, it emerged today.

The Government has asked for an assessment of Third Energy’s financial resilience before making a final decision on whether to grant consent to frack the KM8 well.

And it appears that, if the permission were given, the company wants to avoid fracking in the summer.

There has been no formal statement yet on the timing of any future operation but DrillOrDrop understands the issue was discussed last night when Third Energy senior staff met local people.

The company is thought to want to avoid the summer months when local roads are busiest because of the nearby Flamingo Land theme park and farmers’ harvests.

Two days ago, we reported that scaffolding, which formed part of the sound screen, was being removed from the site.

Today, Third Energy issued a statement saying further equipment was being taken off, including water tanks for the fracking operation.

The company also said a footpath which runs alongside the site, which had been closed temporarily, would reopen.

But the hydraulic fracture spread would remain on site, the company said. And speed and parking restrictions on Habton Road, which runs past the site entrance, would continue.

The company’s statement said:

“To reduce the visual impact for the local community, the company has also taken the decision to remove the top level of the noise attenuation barrier.”

The statement said the base, which is made up of shipping containers, would stay on the site.

Alan Linn, Third Energy’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

“As we work through the final government approvals for the frac project we think it is very important that residents in the Kirby Misperton area see their lives return to normal.

“We consider re-opening the footpath and significantly reducing the height of the sound barrier are a positive step towards this.”

Mr Linn said he expected those protesters who are camping on the grass verged along Habton Road to leave the area.

The Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, which established on a field owned by Flamingo Land, announced on 2 March that it was closing and the site would be restored to pasture.

Mr Linn added

“We expect the clean-up of both the grass verges and the Flamingo Land field will return the land and sub-soil to its original condition. Working to anything less than the standards of restoration and environmental protection required of Third Energy would demonstrate double standards on the part of the protestors.”

  • If the KM8 operation were delayed until the autumn it looks likely that the first UK frack since 2011 will be at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool.

15 replies »

  1. TE are being far more accommodating than I would be [Edited by moderator]
    What’s the bets this site gets the go ahead? I’ll wager a lot!

  2. Well that beats Cuadrilla’s “overwintering birds” for the least convincing explanation for leaving a frack pad so far.

    I see Peeny has fallen for it though 😂

  3. It makes you wonder … if Third Energy are so concerned about the impact that the traffic required for just one small test frack would have on FlamingoLand that they feel they have to postpone it for another six months, what would the impact on the village and Flamingoland be like if they had ten wells on the site, or more, as they plan to do so in the future? Would they still try not to move traffic through the village for eight months of the year? It sounds like they are making our case for us …

    • Third Energy’s comment , “We think it is very important that residents in the Kirby Misperton area see their lives return to normal. We consider re-opening the footpath and significantly reducing the sound barrier a positive step towards this.”
      So there we have it. Third Energy’s admission that the lives of KM residents, businesses and Flamingo Land would be anything but normal if they were to carry out their present plans and then, no doubt, progress to commercial fracking on the site. Multiply that by the hundreds of pads and thousands of wells that would be needed and it’s clear, rural life would never be the same again for those unfortunate enough to be in one of the PEDL areas that cover 65% of the country.

  4. I just hope the antis are able to find the “bond” that they must have provided, so the restoration work is done to a proper standard. But between the bats and the breeding owls it may take some time. Wonder if they will all leave names and addresses so they can be called back if the restoration fails.
    I always suspected this one would be adjusted to allow PNR to go first. Could be by the time TE are scheduled the locals could be seeing the financial positives of fracking-always a strong motivation to the good Yorkshire people.

    • Maybe FlamingoLand are grateful for the fact that Third Energy is Flaming Going? At least for the foreseeable future?

      It was going to be difficult to attract tourists when FlamingoLand is the only park zoo with Flamingo’s with real flames?

    • “I always suspected this one would be adjusted to allow PNR to go first.” but you kept it t yourself it seems, which must be something of a first for you 😂

      Phil C – Flaming Going 😂 Top commenting there!

    • Third Energy have zero UK shale fracking experience. Any technical blunders could bring the industry to a permanent standstill.
      They may well be looking to Cuadrilla to frack first but that may never happen.

      Of course the other problem TE have is that Cuadrilla have been unable to frack UK shale without causing seismic activity and deforming their first well at Preese Hall.

      Tricky decision. Risk the industries future by trying something you have never attempted before or hope that the company who was halted by the Government for technical failings get’s it right if they ever get a second chance.

      Neither option has good odds of success

      • Maybe it was due to Third Energy’s lack of fracking experience that they decided to contract Haliburton to carry out the frack?

    • There is a rumour that a sum of £500 was set aside for the restoration of the illegally occupied field at Kirby Misperton, but no real evidence.

      Could representatives of the protesters send or publish a copy of the financial accounts of both camps.
      Both camps have received donations from members of the public, who would now like to know that the escrow fund to restore the field is in place, and how the rest of the funds were appropriated.

      This shouldn’t be a problem, as the protest group publicly stated that anyone who requested a copy could have one.

      Scrutiny is important, thanks in advance.

  5. Oh that’s the Emoji for not reading is it? Thanks for warning me regarding the comments were going to be fabricated, but I can tell that without a symbol.

  6. So Third Energy don’t have to restore the land they are on as they maybe back, but they can comment on what they expect the protesters to do!
    While it is good to have a break from imminent fracking could the summer be used to ask visitors to the area to send a resounding No Fracking anywhere to the Government by information points in the main tourist attractions showing what might have been this summer?

    • Lyn, why would Third Energy want to restore the land?
      They have a production well supplying gas to their Knapton power station next to the KM8 well that is to be fracked. Third Energy has not gone anywhere yet, it’s their fracking contractors Haliburton that have left the site.

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