Third Energy accused of seeking more time at Ryedale gas sites to prepare for fracking

180205 KM Eddie Thornton

Third Energy’s Kirby Misperson-A site at Kirby Misperton, preparing for fracking in February 2018. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Councillors in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire have unanimously opposed Third Energy’s request for another 17 years to run six gas sites and a pipeline network.

The company has applied for permission to drill another well at Kirby Misperton, produce conventional gas from the Ryedale sites until 2035, and pipe it to the Knapton Generating Station.

A report to Ryedale District Council’s planning committee last night said the authority was “strongly opposed” to fracking and recommended an objection to Third Energy’s plans:

“The applications are, in part justified on the basis that the development proposed would ensure that a network of infrastructure is in place to support hydraulic fracturing in the future.

“This is not acceptable to this Authority and it objects to the applications on this basis.”

Third Energy has planning permission to frack for gas at the KM-8 well on the Kirby Misperton-A wellsite and is still waiting for final hydraulic fracturing consent from the business secretary, now Andrea Leadsom.

In its latest applications, sumitted before this year’s sale to York Energy, the company said:

“Should this trial be successful, further work would be undertaken to assess the potential for further shale gas in the region to be appraised and produced.”

This could not be guaranteed, the company said. But it added:

“The period of assessment necessitates an extension of the lifetime of the existing infrastructure.”

The report to last night’s said Third Energy’s application could be justified only by the currently permitted conventional gas operations. But planners said production in the area was declining.

According to Third Energy, of the 20 wells in the application, only four were producing gas. The sole producing sites were Kirby Misperton-B, Pickering and Marishes. There was no production at Malton A, Malton B and Kirby Misperton A.

The meeting heard that the application included no figures on local gas production. But data from the Oil & Gas Authority showed that for the first quarter of this year, monthly production from the Pickering site ranged from 140-174ksm3, Kirby Misperton was 4-61ksm3 and Marishes 10-14ksm3. The equivalent figures for the Hatfield Moors gasfield in South Yorkshire ranged from 2,240ksm3-9,295ksm3.

Planning officers told the committee:

“It is considered that there is insufficient information to justify why a further extension of time of 17 years and a further borehole at the KM-A well site is required.

“There is insufficient information relating to or justifying the rate of production or anticipated levels/rate of continued exploitation of the conventional reserves.

“This Authority also objects to the applications on this basis and the lack of information provided to justify the development applied for.”

Ryedale District Council is a statutory consultee on the applications. The final decisions will be made by North Yorkshire County Council. The expected date for the decision by the council’s planning committee is 10 September 2019. Details

  • DrillOrDrop will be reporting on the continued progress of the applications through the planning system and the reactions to them.

Links to applications

NY/2018/0108/73A – KM-A wellsite (wells KM1, 3, 7, 8) last granted permission August 2006

NY/2018/0112/73A – KM-B wellsite – (wells KM2, 4, 5, 6) last granted permission in October 2010

NY/2018/0113/73A – pipeline network to Knapton Generating Station permission extended to May 2018 in August 2006

NY/2018/0114/73A – Malton A Wellsite (well MN1) permission extended to May 2018 in August 2006

NY/2018/0116/73A – Malton B Wellsite (wells MN2, 3, 4) permission extended to May 2018 in August 2006

NY/2018/0117/73A – Pickering Wellsite (wells PK1/2) permission last granted in June 2009

NY/2018/0118/73A – Marishes Wellsite (wells MS1, 2, 2z, 3, 3z, 3y) permission extended to May 2018 in August 2006 –

NY/2019/0079/FUL – KM-A Extension Wellsite permission last granted 9 January 2013 for construction of extension to existing KMA wellsite to drill up to two production boreholes and produce gas. One well, KM8, was drilled in June 2013.

Updated 25/11/2019 to correct measurement of gas volumes

7 replies »

  1. Unsure on the relevance of using Hatfield Moors as a comparison – it is a gas storage facility, and will only have produced what has already been injected from the NTS!

    • TJ, yes it does seem strange comparing a gas storage facility that supports and is supported by the national distribution grid, to a gas field that has no national distribution grid connection and only supplies a 42 MWe open cycle gas turbine.

  2. It’s certainly interesting that Third Energy want to renew the expired planning permission on their ‘conventional’ infrastructure for 17 years when they’re probably producing less gas than a single local dairy herd. Anyone would think they had an entirely different plan in mind. If they’ve run out of gas, surely they should be obliged to cap the wells and reinstate the sites as per their original permissions?

  3. To Frack or not to Frack that is the question advantages will create jobs .( but not for the locals ) will it make gas cheaper probably not, they tell you it’s safe to drill through the water table and there is no chance of it being contaminated, it’s abit like saying the titanic would not sink,we all know what happened let’s suppose a titanic type accident happened and hydraulic fluids did get into the water table, How do you contain it ????How far would it flow underground before it could be stopped if at all ?????? Possibly as far as york ????? Do they have the expertise and equipment to be able to reverse the contamination quickly ,and do they have enough money to cover the cost of a clean up on such a scale which could easily run into hundreds of millions of pounds, I cannot believe any insurance company would be willing to take on a risk of that proportion,so is first energy willing to put up a bond with the government say one billion pounds if it turns out that they were wrong, if they are confident they are right it would not cost them any thing .if they are not willing to do this then there is no way they should be granted permission to do any thing at all and the site should be reinstated to its originally state .The hole business is inspired by greed .Do the share holders care about you!!!!!! No .Do they care about the environment !!!!!!No ,Do they frack on their doorstep probably Not!!!. So why let it happen on yours don’t think you will have the support of your MP,s they are probably not on the same boat as the rest of us,.

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