20Dec / 2016
North Yorkshire County Council acted within the law when granting planning permission to Third Energy in May.
Earlier this year, the first planning application involving hydraulic fracturing was approved since the ban was lifted in 2012. The decision triggered opposition from campaign groups who claimed that North Yorkshire County Council had not adequately considered the potential environmental impact of the process.
Today Mrs Justice Lang was aligned with the council, judging that it had acted lawfully and test fracking can go ahead at Third Energy’s KM8 well located in Kirby Misperton. This decision gives a further boost to the UK Onshore Oil and Gas Industry and once again highlights the need for its safe and responsible development.
Third Energy is embracing its early role in this new industry, including their responsibility for not only helping to verify its true potential but for adhering to regulation and best practice.
Chief Executive Rasik Valand said, “The permission places a great obligation on Third Energy to prove that we can carry out the test fracks in the same safe, discreet and environmentally sensitive way that we have conducted our gas exploration and energy generation activities over the past two decades.”
As planning applications are submitted and approved, Environment Agency (EA) guidance for the shale industry continues to evolve, with new requirements relating to water monitoring having been added in September. To obtain Hydraulic Fracturing Consent, it must be demonstrated that 12 months of groundwater methane monitoring and three months of baseline monitoring have been undertaken.
As the first company to carry out baseline monitoring on UK shale gas sites, GGS is the principal author of UK Onshore Oil & Gas’ (UKOOG) ‘Guidelines for the Establishment of Environmental Baselines for UK Onshore Oil and Gas.’ This process along with continuous monitoring are increasingly recognised as the only scientifically sound methods of establishing the true ground gas, air quality and ground water regime associated with shale gas exploration.
These detailed guidelines play a crucial role in enabling the confident exploration and development of UK shale gas and onshore petroleum. Established by industry experts including environmental agencies, membership organisations and environmental consultants, they provide the gold standard by which all parties operate.
Kirby Misperton now joins Preston New Road in Lancashire as the only two permitted sites to perform hydraulic fracturing in the UK. Test fracking lasting for approximately six weeks is now due to commence at Kirby Misperton in 2017.