RYEDALE gas firm Third Energy has said there is uncertainty over when it will conduct its test frack at Kirby Misperton.

The company started final preparations for the operation around this time last year after completing its planning permission conditions - and said it was confident it would frack by Christmas 2017.

However, demands of a financial resilience assessment and the removal of the fracking equipment from the site meant that they then had to postpone until 'the autumn'.

Now a Third Energy spokesperson has said: "At this stage we do not have dates as to when the hydraulic fracturing operations will resume because of uncertainty as to the availability of the frac spread to return to Kirby Misperton, in addition to achieving final consent.

"We will communicate with the local community when we can be more definite on timings.”



It follows the high-profile resignations of two of the company's directors on September 12: Lord Jitesh Gadhia and former Carillion boss Keith Cochrane.

Both had joined the company last September as chairman and senior independent director.

Third Energy confirmed the departure of the pair and said it resulted from 'low levels of activity'.

A spokesperson said: "Keith Cochrane and Lord Gadhia were appointed as chairman and senior independent director respectively of Third Energy Onshore Limited to advise on Third Energy’s onshore business development.

"As the hydraulic fracturing programme and further development is currently delayed, with resulting low levels of activity, the Company has accepted the directors’ resignations.”

The news was welcomed by critics of fracking.

Russell Scott from campaign group Frack Free Ryedale said: “Keith Cochrane and Jitesh Gadhia were brought in by Third Energy just over a year ago in an attempt to provide credibility and stability to the struggling fracking firm.

"A year later Third Energy have failed to float the company on the stock market, failed to prove to the government they are financially viable, key infrastructure no longer holds valid planning permits, and they have failed to frack at Kirby Misperton.

"It is no surprise that these two directors are retreating from what is clearly a company in meltdown."