HOW THIRD ENERGY’S KM8 PLANNING APPLICATION DIFFERS FROM INFORMATION PROVIDED TO LOCAL RESIDENTS
In December 2014, Third Energy circulated a Residents’ Brochure to people living near their Kirby Misperton well-site, describing their plans to frack at their KM8 well.
In February 2015, Third Energy held four Public Consultations at Malton, Pickering, Kirby Misperton and Great Habton about their plans to frack at KM8. At this event they handed out a Public Consultation Booklet.
However, much of key information included in these two documents is very different to the Planning Application submitted by Third Energy, available on the NYCC website. (Ref No: NY/2015/0233/ENV).
Here are four key areas where the information provided to local residents by Third Energy in these two consultation documents differs significantly to the planning application itself.
Waste water disposal
Fracking produces large quantities of waste (or ‘flowback’) water, which contains heavy metals, hydrocarbons, chemicals and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM).
In the Residents’ Brochure, Third Energy said “The (fresh) water will be transported from Knapton using the existing pipeline and, once fracturing is completed, any flow back water will be returned to Knapton via the same pipeline.”
However, in the Consultation Booklet and the Planning Application, the company now say that all the waste water will need to be tankered off-site, significantly increasing the amount of HGV traffic to and from the well.
The ‘Noise Attenuation Barrier’
Fracking is a noisy business, and involves rows of industrial compressors working flat out to pump a mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to fracture the Bowland Shale 10,000 ft below the surface. The Public Consultation Booklet says the noise level at the site will be “up to 90dB (decibels) – equivalent to the music in a nightclub.”
To reduce the noise levels for nearby residents, Third Energy are proposing to surround the well with 42 shipping containers, piled on top of each other. These containers, most of which are nearly forty feet long, need to be transported to the site by truck, then removed at the end of the operation.
There was no mention of these containers in either the Residents’ Brochure or Public Consultation Booklet – or the visual impact they would have on the local area.
HGV traffic to and from the site
Another major difference is the amount of traffic that will travel along the country roads and through Kirby Misperton village to and from the site in the first 8 weeks, when work at the site will be continuing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
The estimated number of traffic movements in the Residents’ Brochure and the Public Consultation Booklet for this initial 8-week period was only 266 HGV movements.
However, the total number of traffic movements to and from the well in the Planning Application is 910 HGV Movements – nearly 3½ times as many as they had promised.
There would also be an additional 504 LGV/car movements (which weren’t mentioned at all in the Residents’ Brochure) making 1,414 traffic movements in total.
The analysis of these traffic movements can be seen on this document:
TRAFFIC MOVEMENTS AT THE KM8 WELLSITE
And that’s the first eight weeks … but what would happen if the test is successful?
Commercial production – a Trojan Horse application?
The Residents’ Brochure said “We are seeking the necessary planning permission and other approvals to test flow the well.” They did not say they were seeking planning permission for commercial production – it was only to be an eight-week flow test.
However, the Planning Application itself states that if a successful production test is achieved, “production of natural gas will commence and continue until cessation of natural gas production, which is anticipated to be circa nine (9) years, with all phases of the proposed development to be completed within ten (10) years.” There was no mention of nine years’ commercial production in the Residents’ Brochure or the Public Consultation Booklet.
The Public Consultation Booklet has a page entitled ‘What happens next if this is successful?’ which says: “To build a longer term development plan we need to know more about how gas flows from the deep Bowland Formation – this is known as an appraisal programme. This appraisal will require three or four more wells – probably a combination of our existing and new well-sites. We will need to drill lateral wells and hydraulically fracture the Bowland section.”
So, if the test is successful, they are already planning to drill more wells – each of which takes 100 days 24/7 to drill – horizontal sections (again more drilling), a lot more fracking to produce the gas, the return of the ‘noise attenuation barrier’, tons more chemicals and sand trucked in, more waste water trucked out, never-ending HGV movements … all for the next nine years.
Then the KM8 well will be abandoned and decommissioned – which will require an extra 1,296 HGV movements over a six-week period, according to the Planning Application. Again, there is no mention of this in the Residents’ Brochure or the Public Consultation Booklet.
All of which begs the question – is this a ‘Trojan Horse’ application, designed to allow Third Energy to avoid applying for planning permission for further fracking at KM8, on the basis that production will have already been approved in principle?
And if Third Energy weren’t being open and honest about these four aspects of their fracking plans in the Residents’ Brochure or Public Consultation Booklet, what other surprises do they have in store?
Please note the information on this page is also available on a downloadable leaflet by clicking on the link below.
For information on how to object to this planning proposal, please visit our KM8 – How to object page.