“City heavyweights” resign from fracking firm, Third Energy

Keith Cochrane Third Energy (002)

Keith Cochrane. Photo: Third Energy

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.

Lord Gadhia

Lord Gadhia

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, 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.

12 replies »

  1. No future in this company, no future in fracking. Smart money is on renewables. It can’t be much fun being a director of such an unpopular company you know plans to ride roughshod over the health of the local residents and the planet. The community remains steadfastly opposed to any fracking.

  2. Should have invested their time in the Weald basin Surrey .Where there will be NO Fracking .Only conventional oil and gas extraction.Great news for Angus energy .Ukog .Less competition

    • Slade I will cut and paste from an answer I gave to a similarly misinformed statement from RM8 a few days ago, check the linked report it will tell you how little gas there is too. I hope it helps:

      Your response parrots the false dichotomy that the Weald penny share oil companies try so hard to establish, i.e. they are “conventional oil companies”/ they are not fracking as part of their exploration THEREFORE the Kimmeridge must be a conventional resource.

      I can tell you unambiguously that the Kimmeridge Clay Formation is an unconventional resource, which means there is certainly no “pool” of oil that stretches across the Weald, and that if it comes to a production phase, recovering oil from any part of it that isn’t drilled in a fault damage zone (aka “naturally fractured”) WILL require stimulation and back to back wells.

      Much of posting below the line on DoD attempts to muddy the waters on this subject using red herrings and ad hominem attacks, if anyone is genuinely interested in this go to the Government and industry studies where this all quite clear. If you are an investor, you really should read up on this too, the spin that comes out of the industry will I believe land them in hot water one day but you are the ones being taken to the cleaners.

      A good start would be this from Department of Energy and Climate Change;

      Click to access bgs_decc_jurassicwealdshale_study_2014_main_report.pdf


      “..this report is the second to address the potential distribution and in-place resources of unconventional oil and gas contained in shales beneath the UK.”

      “3.6.6 Kimmeridge Clay Formation These low porosity and low permeability micrites may be targets in a hybrid Bakken-type shale play, with shale units above and below.”

      “Shale oil (this report). Oil occurs in liquid form in largely impermeable lithologies. These can be shale, but also adjacent siltstone, sandstone, limestone. Oil is extracted by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.”

      Oops, back to fracking again.

      Other methods of stimulation can of course be used if it’s legally or political expedient, they don’t need to fracture the rock, with acid they can dissolve it. The risk to water and level of industrialisation through are similar or worse which is why it makes no difference to anti-fracking campaigners who generally believe this to be a gateway to fracking, as used in the Bakken.

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