Energy firm will ‘frack no more than five hours a time’

The existing brownfield site at Kirby Misperton.
The existing brownfield site at Kirby Misperton.
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Third Energy has said it will use the controversial mining method fracking no more than five hours a time over a six week period, if its plans are approved.

The firm said today that its application to frack an existing well at Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire - which runs to seven volumes and several thousand pages - had been validated by planning officials at North Yorkshire County Council.

It is understood there could be a period of public consultation for up to 13 weeks, before the proposals go before the planning committee in November.

Third Energy said hydraulic fracturing would only take place in daylight hours.

It said the additives used in the fracking fluid had to be approved by the Environment Agency as non-hazardous to groundwater and were commonly found in food and household products.

John Dewar, operations director at Third Energy, said: “Our application for operations at the existing KM8 well at Kirby Misperton will receive more scrutiny because of the high public interest.

“However, operations will be for a shorter duration and involve less noise and less traffic than many of the wells we have already drilled and completed safely in the area. The fracking process itself only lasts for a few hours, and then the well will perform in exactly the same way as our existing wells which have operated safely and unnoticed for the last two decades.”

He urged people to judge the application “on facts provided by leading independent consultants, rather than rumours spread on the internet.”

The Government has enthusiastically backed the development of a UK fracking industry. But every attempt to establish operations has been met by fierce opposition.

The latest setback was suffered last month when applications to frack at two sites were rejected by Lancashire Country Council.

Fracking, which involves sand, water and chemicals being forced at high pressure into rocks to free trapped gas deposits, has been credited with drastically reducing energy costs in the United States. But critics argue it poses significant risks to the environment.

Campaigners in North Yorkshire fear hundreds of wells could be developed across the Vale of Pickering, affecting people’s health, business and tourism.