Two City veterans have resigned as directors of the gas company, Third Energy, a year after their appointments.
Keith Cochrane and Lord Jitesh Gadhia joined the company in September last year as chairman and senior independent director.
At the time, they were described in the national media as “city heavyweights”. Third Energy’s chief executive, Rasik Valand, said he was delighted to welcome them to the team as the company moved to the next stage of its development.
Opponents from the campaign group, Frack Free Ryedale, described the appointments as “unfolding another couple of deck chairs on the Titanic”.
Since then, Third Energy has been waiting for permission to frack its well at Kirby Misperton. In January 2018, ministers announced that final fracking consent had been delayed until the company filed its accounts and completed a financial resilience assessment.
The Kirby Misperton site was cleared of fracking equipment in April 2018 and no work, beyond maintenance, has been carried out since.
Companies House confirmed yesterday that Mr Cochrane and Lord Gadhia resigned from Third Energy Onshore Limited on 12 September 2018.
Third Energy told DrillOrDrop:
“Keith Cochrane and Lord Gadhia were appointed as Chairman and Senior Independent Director of Third Energy Onshore Limited to advise on Third Energy’s onshore business development. As the hydraulic fracturing programme and further development is currently delayed, with resulting low levels of activity, the Company has accepted the directors’ resignations.”
Russell Scott, of Frack Free Ryedale, said:
“Keith Cochrane and Jitesh Gadhia were bought in by Third Energy just over a year ago in an attempt to provide credibility and stability to the struggling fracking firm.
“A year later Third Energy have failed to float the company onto the stock market, failed to prove to the government they are financially viable, key infrastructure no longer holds valid planning permissions and crucially they have failed to frack at Kirby Misperton.
“It is no surprise these two directors are retreating from what is clearly a company in meltdown.”
Mr Cochrane has been a non-executive director of the failed construction company, Carillion, since 2015. He was chairman of the oil services company, Weir Group, from 2009-2016. Before that he was a group director of finance for Scottish Power.
Jitesh Gadhia is an investment banker and a member of the House of Lords. He is a director of UK Government Investments, comparethemarket.com and Accord Healthcare Ltd. He previously held senior positions at Blackstone, Barclays Capital, ABN Amro and Barings brothers. He has been a high-value donor to the Conservative Party.