UK operator seeks fracing permit in North Yorkshire

Barclays-owned Third Energy seeks to hydraulically fracture and test a preexisting well in Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, UK. The county council overseeing this development has announced the company’s application will be considered on May 20, which will include a site visit before the meeting.

Third Energy operates the nearby Knapton Generating Station, which is supplied from four producing gas fields beneath the Vale of Pickering and has processed 30 bcf of gas, generating 2,000,000 Mw-hr of electricity since 1995.

In 2013, the company drilled the KM8 well in its existing Kirby Misperton gas field with the goal of adding conventional reserves. While the shallower prospects were disappointing, the deeper Bowland section featured interbedded sandstone and shale sections. Further analysis determined these gas-bearing zones would need to be stimulated with fracing.

“The program detailed in the application is actually of a smaller scale and shorter time than the drilling of the KM8 well 2013,” said Third Energy Chief Executive Officer Rasik Valand.

The company also is applying to the UK Environment Agency for the necessary permits for the proposed project. These include a mining waste operation permit, including a nonhazardous mining waste facility, a radioactive substances permit, and a groundwater activity permit. The region has several environmental groups who are actively protesting the plan, and the outcome of the application is unclear at this writing.

Third Energy is owned 97% by Barclays but is managed by Global Natural Resources Investment (GNRI). The latter, then called BNRI, was also Barclays-owned until a management buyout in October 2015.

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