Third Energy has finalised the sale of its onshore business.
In a statement released today, the company said:
“Third Energy Holdings Limited announces that, following the satisfaction of conditions precedent, the sale of the entire share capital of Third Energy Onshore Limited to York Energy (UK) Holdings Ltd has completed today.”
The deal, first announced in April 2019, includes the onshore exploration, appraisal and production company, Third Energy UK Gas Limited, which operates largely in the Ryedale area of North Yorkshire.
Also covered by the sale is Third Energy Trading Limited, which owns the electricity generating station at Knapton.
York Energy was incorporated in February 2019 and is described as an affiliate of Alpha Energy, a US company which invests in “overlooked conventional fields”.
Tom Read, the chief executive of Alpha Energy and one of two directors of York Energy, said today:
“We are very grateful for the support our development plans have received from all key stakeholders during the acquisition process, and we now look forward to deploying our engineering-led approach to being responsible owners and operators of these onshore assets.”
DrillOrDrop reported earlier this week that a North Yorkshire resident had instructed solicitors to put questions about the sale to the industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority.
Eddie Thornton, an anti-fracking campaigner, said he was concerned about what would happen to the former Third Energy gas sites if the owner went bust and could not fund future decommissioning costs.
The solicitors asked the OGA whether it had supported or backed the deal and what tests of York Energy’s financial capacity and viability had been carried out before the sale was approved.
“As far as we can see, this new fracking company has only existed for a year and has just £10 to its name.
“But the approval of the takeover must mean the Oil & Gas Authority is satisfied that Alpha Energy will be able to decommission all the outdated infrastructure they will inherit along with Third Energy’s drilling licences and future work commitments.
“The least our community deserves is the disclosure of the information the regulators saw before they approved the deal.
“Our fear is that it will be us, the tax payers, left with the clean up bill if Alpha Energy goes bust or retreats back to the Cayman Islands.”
Third Energy’s most recent accounts revealed liabilities of £63.9m. The company also appears to have failed a financial resilience test required by the government before it was allowed to frack the KM8 well at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.
Today’s statement said Third Energy’s onshore business would continue to operate with the current management and staff.
The ultimate parent company of Third Energy Holdings Limited is Barclays Plc. In 2017, Barclays said it intended to dispose of Third Energy Holdings.
Update 10 July 2019
Third Energy announced that Alan Linn had been appointed chief executive officer of the onshore business.
Mr Linn, previously chief operating officer of Third Energy Onshore, said in a statement:
“I am very pleased that Third Energy Onshore has secured its long-term future, including the jobs of our team in Yorkshire, through acquisition by York Energy.
“The sales process has delivered a strong outcome for the business and prospects for growth. The recently published Committee on Climate Change report highlighted the important role indigenous natural gas must play in supporting delivery of the government’s 2050 net zero target for carbon emissions.
“Our focus will be on developing our onshore gas and power generation businesses.”