Updated: Third Energy closes deal on onshore gas business – Alan Linn becomes ceo

Third Energy 2

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.

He said:

“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of the takeover must mean the Oil & Gas Authority is satisfied that Alpha Energy will be able to decommission all the outdated infrastructure they will inherit along with Third Energy’s drilling licences and future work commitments.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.”


12 replies »

  1. What happened to this:

    “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.

    Mr Thornton’s concerns related to Third Energy’s finances.”

    Has the OGA approved the sale? Do they have to? Or is the sale still subject to regulatory approvals (it doesn’t look like it). Why are Third Energy’s finances relevant?

    • Ask Eddie about his families finances, and interests in the heavily government subsidised wind energy industry and windcare. How much has he cost onshore unconventional exploration companies?

  2. To a certain extent, Third Energy’s previous lack of finance is no longer relevant since it has abandoned the field of play. What is relevant is the ability of the OGA to determine “Financial Resilience”..

    The OGA does not have in-house capability to make financial assessment and so it delegates the task to another arm of Government namely the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.. My point is simple : is it likely that the finest brains in Accounting are to be found here ? Are they not likely to be working for serious sums of money elsewhere ?

    Given recent failure at Government level to assess the financial weakness of Carillion, Interserve, Serco or any of the Private Equity Partnerships running Care Homes such as Careline or Southern Cross , I have little confidence that the blotter jotters used by the OGA are sufficiently familiar with the arcane products to be found in company balance sheets that they can usefully take a reasoned view of an Operator’s Financial Resilience.

    York Energy is nothing more than a financial construct . It does not own so much as an electric drill. Having come into existence in February, it has zero trading figures. It has never filed accounts. Is this really the sort of enterprise the OGA wishes to entrust with achieving Maximum Economic Recovery of Shale Gas. ? If has no more financial resilience than the local troop of brownies and considerably less skill at making flapjack.

  3. The only reasons why financial resilience is really being discussed is that it’s a little wheeze that anti-frackers are using, Greg Clarke included, to prevent shale gas production going ahead. Any industry that goes bust seems to leave debts that others have to pick up (e.g. high street shops, steal industry etc etc). The focus on financial resilience is similar to the traffic light system, one rule for fracking – a different rule for other industries.

  4. Irrespective of if people are pro or anti facking one thing is in common, the FREE MARKET philosophy!
    FREE MARKET means price finding mechanism by the market as the believe is this is the most efficient way to determine the true costs.
    ACCORDINGLY NO COMPANY IN ANY INDUSTRY SHOULD BE ABLE TO OPERATE WITHOUT FULLY PAID UP INSURANCE FOR THE KNOWN RISKS FOR THE DURATION OF THOSE KNOWN RISKS – that then reflects the risks associated and in fracking must include upto the end of the design life at the commencement of operations…..i.e no permits or authorizations to commence works should be issued until this insurance (being a bond covering reinstatement covering potential liabilities created by currently known risks!) is provided to the local councils.

    This way there is no public risk of footing any liabilities created by other peoples actions!!!


    THOSE WHO CREATE LIABILITY MUST PROVIDE REMEDY which has been progressively removed to the privileged few where the public has been forced to bail them out, such as the banking crisis of 2008, and more recently Carrilion who left innocent parties with over 1.35 billion liabilities!!! NO INSURANCE – NO BUSINESS.

      • This was supposed to be a reply to Judith Green above and got posted as a reply I am sorry to the wrong person
        I agree wholeheartedly with mapportunity’s comments. I deplore Judith Greens
        I think It is an issue of honour to take responsibility for your own mess A word hardly used these days

        • Sara – you have such well constructed and reasoned arguments. I guess you don’t know very much about science.

          • You guess wrong. Blind guessing being the very opposite of scientific reasoning. In lab speak “assumption is the mother of all F**** Ups “

  5. Seems like someone from the insurance industry sees an opportunity!

    However, that suggestion has put paid to nuclear power, which in turn would remove alternative, intermittent energy sources, so back to coal! Oops-not a good example either.

    • I am not from the insurance industry.
      Essentially society needs to decide what governance means.
      Until someone can bring their creator into a court of law to present first hand knowledge and be cross examined we can only assume all living humans have equal authority and equal rights to the fruits of the creator.

      From this we can deduce no one can prove authority to knowingly cause another harm, and
      we can derive that governance can mean nothing other than the equal distribution of the creators benefit to all.

      Currently it is claimed the best way to do this is through the “free market” to find the best long term solution.
      So if privilege is being given (in this case via PEDL’s) then to uphold the foundational equitable maxim of who creates harm must provide remedy the public must be protected from known risks (without taking risks there can be no progress but known or reasonably concluded risks is key – integrating best knowledge as we learn from our mistakes).

      So from your 2 offered alternatives there is no way Fukoshima can be cleaned up!!! This is a known risk, and not the first nuclear accident we have had. Does this mean we should stop nuclear power – in its current form as we have no right to knowingly cause another harm!!! There is alot of talk of safer alternatives to the current technology, so it would make sense to minimize further nuclear risks by funding research into safer forms of nuclear energy, possibly small scale thorium. We know many of the risks of coal, so similarly research for cleaner burning or other less harmful methods should be undertaken.

      In general however more important is a rethink into the way we rape and pillage the planet 😉

  6. Give these Anti Swampys an inch they’ll take a mile! Changing the laws and opinions to suit themselves!
    Some of the most dangerous people on the planet!

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