Third Energy

Third Energy


Third Energy UK Gas Limited – the company poised to be at the vanguard of UK fracking – was set up to take advantage of the potential shale gas boom in the UK. In 2015, it became the second company in the UK to apply to frack, after Cuadrilla Resources, and grassroots protests sprang up immediately. [1]

Third Energy UK Gas Limited is controlled by Third Energy Holdings Limited, which is registered in the Cayman Islands. The firm was 97 percent owned by a private equity arm of Barclays bank, Barclays Natural Resources Investment (now renamed Global Natural Resource Investments) — a stake that consultancy Profundo says has been reduced to 78 percent. In May 2017, Barclays said it would sell the subsidiary that owns the Third Energy stake. [2], [3], [4], [5]

In the UK, Third Energy Onshore Limited is the subsidiary of Third Energy Holdings Limited that owns Third Energy UK Gas Limited (formerly Viking UK Gas) and Third Energy Trading Limited (formerly RGS Energy Services). Third Energy Onshore acquired the fracking licence blocks in Yorkshire through buying Viking UK Gas and RGS Energy Services in 2011. Its assets also include Knapton power station, pipelines, and mature producing fields. [6], [7]

Since 2012, the government has been pushing fracking as a source of home-grown energy. But recently an internal, unpublished, government report massively scaled back expectations of fracking in the UK. In October 2016, Scotland banned the controversial extraction technique, and public opinion has further nosedived. [8], [9]

KM8 Well

The firm has sought to frack at a site (KM8 well) near Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, on the Bowland shale formation. [10]

Operations were delayed by internal disorganised finances and the government closing a legal loophole, meaning all fracking firms now have to get the go ahead from Greg Clark, the business secretary. [11], [12]

Stance on Climate Change

Third Energy does not have any public statements regarding climate change.


A potential conflict of interest around one of Third Energy’s directors was highlighted in the government’s investigation into the company’s finances — something Third Energy and the government deny. [2]

In September 2017, Jitesh Gadhia was appointed a senior independent director of the firm, and he is also the non-executive director of UK Government Investments, a Treasury body that advises on government support for ailing businesses. Meanwhile, another Treasury body Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), is looking into Third Energy.  [2]

Third Energy also published their annual accounts, finally, four months late. It was their late filing that prompted the business secretary Greg Clark to state in January that fracking firms’ had to show “financial resilience” and that all firms that applied for permission to frack would be examined by the IPA. [13]

In response to the investigation into their finances and the delay to get final consent, Third Energy removed equipment from the site near Kirby Misperton. [14]

Key People

The following is a list of Directors and/or Secretaries for Third Energy Companies based on data collected via Companies House UK:

Name & StatusHalo Offshore UKThird Energy OnshoreThird Energy ServicesThird Energy TradingThird Energy UK GasThird Energy EBT Trustee
Alan Linn Y YY 
Andrew MortimerY Y   
Grant George Emms  Y   
Paul Savage Y YYY
Rasik ValandYYYYYY
Adam Douglas Greene YYYY 
Aidan Joseph Heavey    Y 
Alan Graham Martin    Y 
Alison Jane Shields    Y 
Asher Fogel YYYY 
Averil Eager    Y 
Bernhard Cociancig Y  Y 
Brian James    Y 
Charles Simon Falla Y    
David EllixY     
David James RobottomYYYYYY
Denis Maurice Bizeau    Y 
Gary Neus Y YY 
Graham Philip May YYYY 
Grant George EmmsYYY Y 
Henry Nelson Schneider YYYY 
James Anthony Lobban Y  Y 
James Bartholomew Boffardi YYYY 
Jeremy James TyrieY     
John Alexander Gordon DewarYYYYY 
John Godwin Crick    Y 
John Henry Edward Butterfield    Y 
Joseph Patrick Reynolds YYYY 
Keith Robertson Cochrane Y    
Lord Jitesh Kishorekumar Gadhia Y    
Lourens Daniel John Erasmus Y  Y 
Matthew John O’Donoghue    Y 
Matthew Maher    Y 
Michael Roderick Sturt    Y 
Patrick Clive Spink    Y 
Richard Augustine  Y   
Richard Nevins  Y   
Robert Blair Thomas Y    
Robert Desmond McVeigh Y  Y 
Robert Evans Jones    Y 
Roger David Barrett    Y 
Roger Gordon Connon     Y
Roland Fox    Y 
Thomas Alton Clarence-Smith    Y 
Thomas Gerard Hickey    Y 
Thomas Mehlberg Y    


February 7, 2021

Third Energy was sold by Barclays bank to Houston-based firm Alpha Energy for £1, following a moratorium on fracking imposed in November 2019, The Times reported. [25]

September 2018

Third Energy’s Chairman, Keith Cochrane, and Director Jitesh Gadhia, a Conservative party peer and Tory donor, reportedly resigned from the company’s board due to its inactivity. The resignations came after reports that Conservative MPs were preparing to rebel against new rules that would take fracking planning out of the hands of local authorities. [15], [16]

September 2017

Third Energy started preparing the site at Kirby Misperton for fracking. Protests ramped up, resulting in over 80 arrests and an extraordinary police presence around the village. [17]

DeSmog UK exposed that police had set limits on fracking protests in North Yorkshire where Third Energy plans to begin drilling. [18]

June 2017

Third Energy was rapped on the knuckles by the Environment Agency, which gave an official warning that the firm breached one of its environmental permits by failing to publish correct emissions data, which concerned air quality data at the Knapton Generating Station in the Vale of Pickering. The company was also criticised for failing to use an agreed method to monitor groundwater quality at a nearby gas well. [19]

May 2017

Barclays announced it would sell its stake in Third Energy “in due course.” Barclays has been targeted by campaigners for backing fracking and fossil fuel projects. [20], [21]

Dec 2016

An anti-fracking camp was set up to protest the proposed fracking near Kirby Misperton. [22]

May 2015

Yorkshire became the new focal point of the UK fracking debate after Third Energy applied to hydraulically frack the well at the Kirby Misperton site in North Yorkshire. [23]


Third Energy drilled the well near Kirby Misperton to sample gas at the site — “Analysis of the gas bearing zones in the deeper Bowland section concluded that they should be appraised further. To assess their commercial potential, hydraulic fracturing will be used to stimulate gas flow from these inter-bedded sandstone and shale sections,” the firm stated on its website. [10]

*Third Energy Onshore acquired the fracking licence blocks in Yorkshire through buying Viking UK Gas and RGS Energy Services in 2011. Its assets also include Knapton power station, pipelines, and mature producing fields.

Contact & Address

According to the Third Energy Website, as of January 2019: [24]

North Yorkshire Operations

Knapton Generating Station
East Knapton
North Yorkshire
YO17 8JF

+44 (0) 1944 758 746

Social Media


  1. Terry Macalister. “UK fracking firm applies for licence in North Yorkshire,” The Guardian, May 22, 2015. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  2. Adam Vaughan. “Fracking row: Treasury ‘showing shambolic conflict of interest’,” The Guardian, February 19, 2018. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  3. Emily Gosden. “Barclays invests in shale gas revolution,” The Telegraph, November 30, 2013. Archived January 10, 2019. URL
  4. About GNRI,” GNRI. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  5. Mat Hope. “Barclays to Sell Fracking Company, Says Decision Does Not Change Stance on Shale Gas,” DeSmog, May 15, 2017.
  6. Third Energy,” Frack Off. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  7. Erikka Askeland. “Third Energy Offshore increases North Sea stake,” Energy Voice, February 8, 2015. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  8. Secret UK government report lowers fracking expectations,” Unearthed, October 2, 2018. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  9. Scottish government bans fracking after public opposition,” The Guardian, October 3, 2017. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  10. Assets and Operations,” Third Energy. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  11. Paul Seaman. “Minister Delays Fracking Decision at Kirby Misperton until Third Energy submits its Overdue Accounts,” Desmog, January 25, 2018.
  12. Hydraulic fracturing: Direction to the Oil and Gas Authority,”, November 30, 2017. Archived January 10, 2019. URL
  13. Energy Policy:Written statement – HCWS428,, January 25, 2018. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  14. Ruth Hayhurst. “Third Energy releases equipment from fracking site because of ‘delays over final consent’,” Drill or Drop? February 6, 2018. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  15. Emily Gosden. “Chairman quits fracking firm Third Energy,” The Times, September 19, 2018. Archived September 19, 2018. URL:
  16. Fracking plans spark Conservative rebellion threat,” Financial Times, September 18, 2018. URL:
  17. Frances Perraudin. “Fracking protester warns: ‘Yorkshire’s gorgeous, but that can be taken away’,” The Guardian, November 5, 2017. Archived January 10, 2019. URL
  18. Kyla Mandel. “Growing Number of Restrictions Placed by Police, Councils on Anti-Fracking Protests,” DeSmog, September 11, 2017.
  19. Yorkshire Fracking Company Receives Official Warning Over Incorrect Emissions Data,” DeSmog, June 20, 2017.
  20. Mat Hope. “Barclays to Sell Fracking Company, Says Decision Does Not Change Stance on Shale Gas,” DeSmog, May 15, 2017.
  21. Mat Hope. “Campaigners Tell Barclays, ‘You Frack My Home, We’ll Move Into Yours’,” DeSmog, October 31, 2016.
  22. Killian Fox. “Meet the Yorkshire villagers fighting the frackers,The Guardian, February 18, 2018. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  23. Ben Lucas. “Fracking Focus Shifts to Yorkshire as Pro- and Anti-Fracking Groups Emerge,” DeSmog, July 17, 2015.
  24. Contact Us,” Third Energy. Archived January 10, 2019. URL:
  25. Jamie Nimmo. “Barclays lost £90m on fracking,” The Times, February 7, 2021. Archived February 8, 2021. URL: 

Other Resources

Image: Drill or Drop

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