Despite thousands of objections and sustained local and national pressure, Third Energy have just been given the green light to frack in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
If it goes ahead, it would be the first fracking in the UK for over 5 years. It’s a devastating blow for the local community, but what happens there has implications for all of us.
And who owns Third Energy? Our very own Barclays Bank.
While Third Energy’s business model is to ‘frack, frack, frack’, as an investor, Barclays has a few more options and is much more sensitive to bad PR. Spooking investors and taking away a key pillar of financial support would be devastating to the fracking industry already plagued with setbacks.
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Date: Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 2:59 PM
Subject: Response to email regarding fracking
Thank you for your email about fracking.
Following the sale of Barclays Natural Resources Investments to its former management, the day to day interaction with Third Energy is now undertaken by Global Natural Resources Investments (GNRI). Third Energy is a British business with a history of investment and good corporate citizenship in North Yorkshire, and this is set to continue into the future.
Citizenship at Barclays is about considering the impact of our decisions on society. This is a key element of our Shared Growth Ambition which focuses on driving commercial benefit for our shareholders and creating the conditions for success in the societies in which we operate. By working with GNRI management, we have ensured that Third Energy, as they go through the planning process, has plans that are compatible with Barclays’ Purpose & Values, and that the company is addressing the key concerns that are being raised by people such as yourself:
Risks to ground and surface water
Third Energy plans and operates its wells in accordance with the UK’s robust regulatory regime, which is overseen by four different regulatory bodies. Water and sand make up more than 99% of fracking fluid. Any chemicals used in the process must be approved as “non-hazardous” to groundwater by the Environment Agency (EA), and both the quantity and concentration must be disclosed. In addition, the flow back water will be sent for safe disposal to an Environment Agency permitted waste facility. The integrity of the fracking well is critical in ensuring that any risk of leakage is minimised, very close attention is paid to the design, construction and monitoring of Third Energy’s wells and this is overseen by the Health & Safety Executive. There is consequently very low risk of ground and surface water pollution.
Risks to the community from increased traffic levels and noise
As with all construction and engineering projects, Third Energy’s programme will create a small amount of traffic and noise. However, the company will keep the amount of traffic to an absolute minimum and constant monitoring during operations will ensure that noise levels do not exceed the limits set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance. A traffic management plan has been developed with the Highways Authority, taking into account local community feedback.
Risks to health
Thorough research into shale gas and hydraulic fracturing by leading scientific and industry experts – including the Royal Society; the Royal Academy of Engineering; the Geological Society; the British Geological Survey; WaterUK; the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management; Public Health England; the Scottish Government’s Independent Expert Panel and numerous academics including experts at Durham, Newcastle, Bristol, Keele, Glasgow and Cambridge Universities – has concluded that any potential risks associated with hydraulic fracturing are low and can be managed in a properly regulated industry.
Risks to the local economy
Third Energy has been drilling, developing and producing gas in North Yorkshire for over 20 years with an excellent environmental and safety record. To date, the operations have had no discernible effect on agriculture, tourism and fishing in North Yorkshire. There is no reason to believe that this will change in the future.
Risks to the global climate
Fuel produced from shale gas exploration is seen by many – including the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – as providing an alternative to other fossil fuels, such as coal, while more efficient renewables can be developed to enable the UK to meet both its carbon reduction targets and energy requirements. The UK Government, including the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Treasury, and the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee have backed shale gas exploration, using modern technology and practices to minimise adverse impacts. It is anticipated that by harnessing the UK’s supply of shale the country’s dependency on fuel imports will be considerably reduced.
Any extraction activity is, of course, subject to the full planning process, including environmental assessment and public consultation. We take the concerns of local communities and other groups seriously and will continue to monitor activities to ensure that potential environmental and community impacts are minimised.
Barclays Citizenship Team
Friends at Blackburn
We had a presence in Rawtenstall on Friday 28th October and in Blackburn on Saturday 29th October informing the public about fracking and Barclays investment in North Yorkshire at Ryedale.
Friends were also outside Barclays in Burnley in the afternoon.