GAS firm Third Energy has submitted its 2016 accounts following concerns raised by the secretary of state.

The accounts, which were due on September 30, 2017, were finally filed with Companies House on Thursday, February 1.

The Knapton firm is currently poised at Kirby Misperton to undertake the first onshore UK frack in around seven years.

But Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, decided last month that the company would have to file its accounts - and be assessed for its financial resilience - before commencing the frack.

The accounts show total losses of about £3.4m - down from £3.8m the year before. These losses mean it has paid no tax. Turnover was £757,000, up 76 per cent on 2015. The accounts also show the company owed £55.7m to parent and sister companies.

They have been criticised by anti-fracking campaigners.

Russell Scott of Frack Free Ryedale said it was “quite clear this company is far from being financially stable”.

He added: “With such huge health and environmental concerns associated with fracking, and the enormous costs involved, we are deeply concerned that the company appears unable to adequately finance its operations.

“If Third Energy were to go bust in the near future, our community will be left to pay for the legacy left behind.”

A spokesman for Third Energy responded: “Third Energy has, for a number of years, been investing in the exploration and appraisal phases of its onshore and offshore projects, relying upon onshore production revenues and investment capital to fund the activities.

“Following recent successes, it is confident to invest further capital in projects to finalise development options and progress through the development phases and into the production, where the initial investment will be recovered.

“This process takes a number of years to compete successfully and we are fortunate to have access to ongoing financial support for the business. The investment cycle is typical of all capital intensive projects and is accurately reflected within our accounts.”

Campaigners also said it was “scandalous” that Third Energy parent company Third Energy Holdings, to which Third Energy owes £48m, is based in the Cayman Islands tax haven.

But a Third Energy spokesman said: “Accusations of ‘tax dodging’ are without substance and misleading. Third Energy UK is registered in the UK, complies with all UK tax policies and we pay our taxes here.”