Dear Health and Safety Executive,
Please treat this email as a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, alternatively the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
I refer to the following statement made by Third Energy in the press this week:
"The work which Third Energy is progressing in Kirby Misperton takes advantage of an existing well where we have now completed a series of test fracks "
Scarborough News, 18th January 2018
“We have undertaken extensive sampling and analysis of the natural gas which will be produced from the KM-8 well, following a successful fracture stimulation programme, and it is clear from the analysis that this gas contains minimal levels of H2S and is almost pure methane"
I would be grateful if you would provide answers to the following questions.
1) Please clarify
a) the date that the 'Well Operator,' Third Energy (TE) notified you that they intended to commence hydraulic fracturing stimulation, as required under the 'Well Notification' scheme, and
b) clarify how long before commencement of stimulation this notice is required under the Regulations,
c) if you are therefore satisfied that the notification was indeed provided as required.
2) Please advise the date of the acknowledgement of receipt of the notification form HSE to Well Operator TE/ end of the notification period OR advise of the date that the consent to stimulate was issued from HSE to TE.
3) Please provide a copy and provide the date of the Independent Well Examiner's report.
4) Please provide a copy of the weekly reports during October- December 2017 as stated are a requirement as per below:
"Although listed operations do not require further notification, they should be included in weekly reports as required by the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.)
Regulations 1996 (DCR) regulation 19, “Provision of drilling etc. information” for operations
involving setting plugs or perforating"
indicate when and provide proof of if any 'Request for Exemption to Relevant Offshore Statutory Provisions' has been sought.
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Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.
Environmental Information Regulations Reference No: 201801261
Thank you for your request for information about:
Notification of commencement of stimulation/ test fracking at Kirby
Misperton KM-8 wellsite
Your request was received on 20 January 2018 and I am dealing with it
under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
I can confirm the following:
1a) Third Energy notified HSE that they intended to commence hydraulic
fracturing, as required by the Borehole Sites and Operations Regulations
1995 (BSOR) regulation 6, on 11 October 2017.
1b) The well operator is required to submit notifications at least 21 days
in advance, or such shorter time in advance as the Executive may agree.
1c) The notification was submitted in accordance with BSOR requirements.
2) HSE acknowledged receipt of the notification on 12 October 2017. The
permitted start date was 1 November 2017. HSE does not issue consents.
3) The independent well examiners report is not held by HSE.
4) The weekly reports for the period October 2017 to December 2017 can be
partially disclosed. These reports contain information on contractors
carrying out work on behalf of Third Energy, and details are being
withheld by virtue of EIR regulation 12 (5) (e), (confidentiality of
commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is
provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest) as they contain
information that is commercially confidential. Personal information is
being withheld by virtue of the exception in EIR regulation 13(1)
Section 12(5) (e) is a qualified exception that is subject to the public
interest test. This means HSE has to balance the public interest factors
favouring disclosure against those favouring non-disclosure. In this case,
I have considered the following factors in favour of disclosure:
o Fracking is subject to significant public interest and disclosure
would increase knowledge of the risks involved, and inform the public
about how the risks are being managed and regulated.
o Promote transparency and build public confidence in HSE’s inspection
o Secure the health and safety of employees and others
And the following factors in favour of non-disclosure:
o Disclosure would inhibit the exchange of information between duty
holders and HSE.
o Information could be used to impede the lawful activities of companies
who may legally supply goods and services to Third Energy.
After careful consideration, I believe that the public interest in not
disclosing this information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it
because of the adverse impact it would have on the ability of HSE,
operators and their contractors to communicate freely, which would have a
detrimental effect on HSE’s regulatory function putting workers, the
public and the environment at risk. In this case I believe the public
interest is served by disclosing the details of activities carried out on
the KM8 well and included in the weekly reports sent to HSE.
Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues
to be protected by the copyright of the person, or the organisation, from
which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their
permission before reproducing any third party (non Crown Copyright)
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are unhappy with the decisions made by HSE you may ask for an
internal review within two calendar months of the date of this letter by
writing to me.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510
Email: [email address]