Wolfland Group has acquired Third Energy which until as recently as last year was carrying out gas extraction operations across the Vale of Pickering, where the industry began in 1985 with the granting of consent for exploration under licence.
Third Energy had been seeking to continue operations until 2035 at numerous well sites, including ones at Kirby Misperton, Great Habton, Marishes and Pickering, and a pipeline linking the wells to the existing operational Knapton gas-fired electricity generating station, which opened in 1995.
However the Wolfland Group now intends to initiate a fresh new focus on green energy, including solar farm plans, geothermal energy at a former well site, and the possibility of producing green hydrogen and carbon storage.
All fossil fuel production and development at the firm will now be halted as a result of the takeover.
Steve Mason, a director of Wolfland Group and a former anti-fracking campaigner, held talks with Third Energy’s managing director Russell Hoare, after which the shift to renewables was agreed.
Mr Mason said the deal would give communities close to proposed fracking sites confidence that the transition to clean energy was now underway, adding: “There is no turning back.”
He said: “This is only just the start of our journey, with positive climate solutions at the heart of our mission. The recent energy crisis has shown that we must be energy independent as a nation and that fossil fuels need to be urgently replaced by clean renewable energy supplies which will lead to cheaper energy and help us tackle climate change.
“We believe we’re now a real-life example of walking the talk and turning stranded fossil fuel assets into green energy solutions. We’re excited about the future.”
Chief executive of Wolfland Group, Mike O’Shea, said his firm was taking “a dirty fossil fuel fracking company and flipping it into a green energy beacon”.
Third Energy is looking to produce green hydrogen at its Knapton site.
It plans to use electricity from the grid connection and, if production was successful, hydrogen could be supplied to HGV, waste removal vehicles, trains or into the grid.