Fracking company’s accounts are late again and loan rises to £16.9m


180401 KM Eddie Thornton

Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton fracking site, cleared of equipment in April 2018. Photo: Eddie Thornton

The company behind fracking plans at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire is again overdue with its annual accounts. It has also increased its loan from Barclays by £1.5m.

Four companies in the Third Energy group, based at Knapton in Ryedale, were required to submit annual accounts for 2017 by 30 September 2018. All are now listed as overdue.

In January 2018, the government delayed its final decision on fracking consent at Kirby Misperton until Third Energy filed its then overdue 2016 accounts.

Third Energy Onshore Limited, Third Energy Services Limited, Third Energy UK Gas Limited and Third Energy Trading Limited all received official warnings in January 2013 that they would be struck off the Companies House register. All but Third Energy Onshore Limited had the same warning in December 2016. The Companies House registrar can take this action if required company documents have not been submitted.

A spokesperson for Third Energy said:

“Third Energy is working with its auditors to finalise the accounts for all Third Energy group companies for filing at Companies House.”

Loan reaches £16.9m

181010 Third Energy loan

The most recent delay in filing accounts coincided with official confirmation of another increase in the loan to Third Energy Onshore Limited, bringing the total to £16.9m.

The loan was first described as a bridging loan facility of £7.5m to Third Energy Holdings Limited. It was first made in May 2017 by Northwharf Investments Limited, part of Barclays.

The loan, later described as a charge to Third Energy Onshore Limited, rose to £12.5m in December 2017 and £15.4m in April 2018.

No news on fracking

180321 KM Eddie Thornton

The KM8 well head at Kirby Misperton, after the removal of fracking equipment, 21 March 2018. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Last month, Third Energy said it didn’t know when it would frack at Kirby Misperton, but it would not be this year.

The company had previously told villagers in November 2017 it was ready to frack. But government consent was delayed by a legal loophole in the Infrastructure Act. There was another delay in January 2018 when the business secretary, Greg Clark, required an assessment of Third Energy’s financial resilience and its ability to meet decommissioning costs.

In February, the company began releasing fracking equipment from the Kirby Misperton site and by April 2018, almost all the fracking equipment had been cleared.

Last month, two city veterans – Keith Cochrane and Lord Jitesh Gadhia – resigned as Third Energy directors. They’d held their positions for just a year. Third Energy said the delay to the hydraulic fracturing programme had resulted in “low levels of activity”.

Also last month, Third Energy Offshore Limited was bought by Hague and London Oil (HALO).

Russell Scott, of Frack Free Ryedale, said:

“In the past few weeks Third Energy have lost two key directors, sold off its offshore assets and has now failed to submit its company accounts on time for the third year running.

“Furthermore, in the 12 months since the last accounts were published, 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 Third Energy has yet again failed to follow basic financial procedures.

“We urge Secretary of State Greg Clark to deny final fracking consent to a Company that fails time and time again to provide the most basic of financial information.”

19 replies »

  1. Fair comments by Russell Scott. You wonder what these city investors are thinking when pumping millions into a little company with aging assets and expensive operations, or have they had the wool pulled over their eyes?

  2. I think AD it is about trying to keep it as a going concern until they sell it. Part now disposed of. Will the remainder go before fracking is the question. I suspect so. Probably end up with any paper loss discounted against taxation. Shock, horror.

    OK, good one Malcolm, just off to switch to RBS. Oh, perhaps not a good idea.

  3. My comment from about this time last year seems appropriate again:
    I can only think of three reasons for a company being consistently late submitting their accounts:
    1. They’re financially inept.
    2. They’ve got something to hide.
    3. They have no respect or regard for the rules and regulations that relate to company accounts.
    If anyone has another valid reason, I’d be interested to hear it.

  4. Almost as good as your Aviva option, Sherwulfe!

    Shame that looks such a joke within such a short time! Afraid your financial advice is a bit tarnished.

    Perhaps if someone actually wanted to look into that at the moment, it would be the bank with the least exposure to Italy?

  5. Oh, I am concerned about ethics Mike-you made quite a leap there. Doesn’t mean I don’t understand how businesses can discount against tax, and all perfectly legal within the tax system. Goodness, they can even discount against delays caused by protestors. So, worried about your actions costing the country tax income Mike? No, didn’t think so.

    That didn’t work very well, did it.

    • Is this the Barclays Bankquos ghost still haunting the tumbled weed strewn dusty drifting ramparts of broken wasteland dreams of predictions such as “Just days now?”

      Such days as these were surely not part of those schemes and plans of avarice fame and fortune were they?

      I thought they had all ready gone to that hot place to which they were so desperately frantically side tracking?

      And still they can’t account for their sudden fall from grace?

      Three times the non accountability bell has tolled, they toll Third Enemy, for thee.

      Oh how are such would be mighty tumbled head of Ozimandeus fallen?

      Perhaps they should have been more generous to those who asked them for accountability on the way up the sticky ladder? Lack of sufficient Accountability on the slippery snake way down is many times more embarrassing.

      Now they are so cruelly laid low by the stings, and the spins and fracking sorrows of outrageous misfortune.

      I see no words or proffered blankets of warmth and comfort and cheerleading sympathy from their erstwhile enthusiastic cheerleaders here?

      Cold comfort is no comfort.

      Such is the fate of all those who follow that road down the slippery slope to that place where such endeavours are so fatefully destined.

      Fare thee….well…..ghost, go peacefully and finally into that good night.


    • Not an immediate leap. I’ve seen many of your posts for several years now and have seen no evidence of ethics. I’m sure most businesses and people conduct their tax affairs legally – even the likes of Costa, Google and Amazon. It doesn’t mean it’s ethical or provides fair taxation to pay for civilised society. You have little idea of my actions Martin and I have no worries that anything I do will cost the country tax income. I’m rather more concerned about those with expensively advised tax avoidance schemes and offshore bank accounts, paying as little as possible, then storing up future costs to the public purse when they’re long gone with hefty but lightly taxed profits.

  6. Third Energy should not be allowed to operate, let alone frack. You’d have thought they would have taken the trouble to get their accounts in on time this year, as they are being investigated for financial robustness. What a shambles.

  7. I recall Turd Energy stating that they would be back on site in October 2018 to commence fracking. Forever the optimists or a bit of bravado or possibly just telling porkie pies? Whatever the reasons, they will not be doing so this year. How much public money has this company spent so far. The policing bill must be a fair wedge. An incomplete well every 7 years – well done! No amount of so-called home-grown shale gas will make a jot of difference nationally. It would be bit like me giving The Chancellor of The Exchequer a £20 note to help pay off our National Debt. It will simply not have any impact. That is why this facking scheme makes no sense either financially or environmentally. It does not stack up. When a former Director of the failed Carillion jumps ship you know that your company is on the skids.

  8. Don’t get yourselves overheated regarding Third Energy. Permit to frack KM 8 will be coming fast once Cuadrilla have fracked their 2 wells (unless there is blow out at PNR or Lancashire Police Station falls down due to earth tremors).

  9. Exactly Paul.

    When the “precautionary principle” is applied, and it is pointed out that is what is happening, it seems some are too blind to see it. Well, we know that is not the case, but the fog is more attractive than clarity. But, that fog does eventually clear and what is there is somewhat different to what was thought.

    I suspect the accounts have been sent off shore to be sorted somewhere in India! Might take a while.

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