As a responsible company, ensuring all our activities are managed safely, and protecting the health and safety of our workforce and wider community is integral to everything we do.
This is achieved through a combination of inter-dependent factors: from the commitment of senior management and behaviour of each individual working in the business, to the design, operation and maintenance of facilities and the regulatory environment.
Leadership and commitment from senior management is essential for the successful implementation of the Health, Safety & Environment Management System. HSE awareness is actively communicated and encouraged throughout the organisation at all levels of management and operational staff.
Third Energy has been drilling, developing and producing gas in North Yorkshire for over 20 years with an excellent safety record as well as being compliant with national and international health and safety regulations.
For the past two decades, we have operated onshore without any significant incidents in our areas of operation.
Responding to incidents and emergencies
Third Energy maintains and “exercises” internal and external emergency response plans covering all likely scenarios relating to their infrastructure and sites in North Yorkshire
Third Energy voluntary adheres to the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 2015 (COMAH) by having an External Plan. This is mandatory for sites defined as Upper Tier under COMAH. Third Energy sites are not define as Upper Tier. The COMAH Regulations can be found here. The role of the emergency services and the local authority in emergency planning are set out in the Civil Contingencies Act
The Third Energy External Plan is held in the government Resilience Direct portal to which North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum officers have access. The Plan is not available for public view or dissemination as it contains sensitive information regarding Third Energy operations and facilities.
Activating the External Plan
The plan will be “activated without delay when: a major accident occurs; or an uncontrolled event occurs which could be reasonably expected to lead to a major accident.”
First, Third Energy will make 999 calls to the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and North Yorkshire Police and provide a pre-defined set of information on the incident. Third Energy will also contact North Yorkshire County Council Resilience and Emergency Team.
Next, the Police will trigger their own response to Major and Critical Incidents Plan which includes notification to North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum.
The plan itself sets out the key actions and responsibilities for each Tier 1 service and agency involved in the response.
Informing Local Residents
In the first instance the local public will be notified by Third Energy in the case of the Plan being activated. Thereafter, Third Energy will keep the public informed in conjunction with the Emergency Services. The methods chosen to notify the ‘All Clear’ by Third Energy will be dependent on the nature and extent of the incident.
Response to report on Third Energy safety published on the Frack Free Ryedale website
Third Energy completely refutes the assertion made by Frack Free North Yorkshire / Frack Free Ryedale that the company has anything other than an excellent safety record.
Their paper provides no evidence of any significant safety incidents. Third Energy invites the authors to visit the company’s Yorkshire operations for a full briefing on the company’s health and safety systems including incident reporting.
Third Energy have prepared a detailed response to the document on the company’s safety record written by Chris Redston and Russell Scott, of Frack Free Ryedale and Frack Free North Yorkshire respectively.
Third Energy aims to minimise any adverse impacts on the environment. It is important to us to maintain our excellent record of approaching 25 years, of our operations having a minimal environmental impact.
This is achieved through a combination of inter-dependent factors: from the commitment of the senior management and responsible behaviour of each individual working at our site, to the business to design and maintenance of facilities to the regulatory environment.
Identifying potential risks and impacts to the environment at the start of a project is fundamental to ensuring that they are reduced to a minimum.
Whether or not a formal Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) is required, consideration of the environment is an integral part of planning operations. We will always use our knowledge and that of third party experts to assess the potential impact and identify optimum mitigation measures. This could cover:
Landscape and Visual Amenity
Transport and Traffic
Flood Risk, Hydrology and Drainage
Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
When work on building the Knapton Generating Station was completed at the end of 1994, 40,000 trees and shrubs were planted as well as extensive hedgerow planting around the site and along the access road. Much of the road runs parallel to the Malton to Scarborough railway line which is adjacent to the site.
This planting is now mature and fully screens the site as well as providing a good wildlife habitat. Staff driving on the one mile road regularly report seeing foxes, deer and hares, not to mention very active moles and many rabbits. They have identified over 20 species of birds including wrens, green and spotted woodpeckers, goldcrests, barn owls, chaffinches and partridge. Swallows also nest on the office buildings at the power station.
This year the company took the decision to “wild” the verges on the access road rather than keeping them cut short. The result has been a profusion of wild flowers. Staff working at the generating station, who like to use the road for lunchtime exercise, have been looking out their wild flowers books and cameras in an attempt to identify the many different species. So far they have identified the better known species such as bird’s eye trefoil, clovers, black medick, sheep’s sorrel and yarrow but there is more work to be done.
Alan Linn, Chief Operating Officer said “It has been fascinating in that last few weeks to see the emergence of this long, if narrow, wild flower meadow along the edge of the access road. It has been transformed from looking very neat and slightly urban into a country lane. We are now speculating if autumn will bring crops of edible mushrooms in addition to the blackberries and sloes.”
Third Energy is committed to being a good neighbour. We seek to minimise any local impact or disruption from our activities – whether during temporary construction and drilling activity or ongoing operations. We recognise that new development could have some impact on the local area. Our intention is to involve the local community in developing and shaping our plans.
There are also times when we will hold formal Public Consultations as part of the regulatory process. Documents relating to these consultations can be found here. Consulting and meeting with the public is important to us, and we conduct this through announcements, leaflets, letters and open information days at local venues.
Consultation on renewing consent for Vale of Pickering infrastructure
Third Energy has applied for the necessary planning consents to extend the lifetime of its gas and power infrastructure in North Yorkshire until 2035. The infrastructure forms a coherent network with each aspect integral to the safe and efficient operation of the whole and includes:
Knapton Generating Station (KGS) – a facility including a gas-powered turbine, and overhead line (OHL) transmitting electricity produced to the National Grid
A pipeline network connecting the well sites to KGS, transporting gas to KGS and condensates to KM-A for reinjection into a dedicated reinjection borehole
Six well sites producing natural gas – Kirby Misperton A (KM-A), Kirby Misperton B (KM-B), Malton A (MN-A), Malton B (MN-B), Marishes (MAR) and Pickering (PK)
The applications seek consent to retain and operate the existing infrastructure only, with no new activities or new landtake proposed.
An application to extend the lifetime of Knapton Generating Station has been made to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. All other existing planning conditions and the Environmental Permit attached to the Generating Station will continue to apply.
The existing pipeline network connects the existing well sites at Kirby Misperton, Great Habton, Pickering and Marishes to Knapton Generating Station. Third Energy has applied to North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) to extend the planning consent for this pipeline network. Planning permission for the original pipeline network was granted in 1993 with a further consent for the Pickering pipeline granted in 1998. The application is for an extension of consent for the existing pipeline network and no additional development is proposed.
The application only relates to planning consent and not to other regulatory regimes. The pipelines have been re-validated until 2024 and are fully compliant with the Pipeline Regulations and Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000.
Third Energy has applied to NYCC, under Section 73 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, to extend the lifetime for consented operations to produce conventional gas on its six existing well sites in the Vale of Pickering. The applications will seek to amend the time-limiting condition in the consents, to allow operations to continue until 2035, subject to the existing planning conditions attached to each wellsite. Please note that there is no intention to amend the planning consent associated with the KM-8 well, which will continue until 2026.
All the applications made by Third Energy UK Gas Limited to NYCC for the extension of planning consent can be viewed on the planning portal.
Third Energy undertook a pre-application consultation on these applications which closed on February 28th 2018.
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