FRACKING company Third Energy has been issued with a warning over incorrect air pollution figures from one of its gas wells, prompting an outcry from campaigners.

The Environment Agency issued the company with a Compliance Assessment Report in February this year, after it was found the average emissions figures from one of its conventional gas wells were wrong and it had consequently breached its permit.

The error was found at the company’s Knapton Generating Station, in the Vale of Pickering not far from the Kirby Misperton shale gas well.

The report stated: “Third Energy need to ensure that they have quality assurance in place on their emissions monitoring and are fully aware of the input parameters and calculations in their reporting software.”

It gave the company a warning and approximately a month to rectify the situation.

There was no evidence emissions levels had exceeded permitted levels.

In a separate, second incident, Third Energy was criticised by the government regulator for failing to use the agreed method for monitoring groundwater quality at its Pickering well site.

The Environment Agency visited the company’s well site towards the end of last year, when inspectors watched a contractor sampling groundwater from two boreholes for monitoring, but said they were not using the method specified in the permit.

Third Energy was granted permission in May last year to use one of its existing conventional gas wells at Kirkby Misperton for hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to fracture the rock and release shale gas.

Local campaigners say the issues are concerning as the safety of fracking is dependent on adhering to environmental conditions and regulations.

Russell Scott of Frack Free Ryedale said: “After failing to inform local residents of gas leaks on multiple occasions, this company has now been caught issuing false air pollution figures. How can the local community trust this company when they repeatedly withhold information about the true picture of their activities?”

Ian Conlan, Malton resident, added: “This company has deliberately used a different scheme of monitoring water that was not subject to a public consultation. They treat our community with utter contempt, then with government backing force fracking which is far more risky than conventional gas extraction.”

Third Energy said the reports demonstrated the level of scrutiny and rigour its operations were subjected to and there had been no environmental harm caused. 

A spokesperson stated: "Firstly, it is important to say that there have been  absolutely no impacts on the environment.

"What these two reports demonstrate is the rigour of the EA and how their system of oversight works. Every small technical issue is identified, recorded and then required follow up action detailed. This information is published on the Environment Agency website and available to the public.

"Third Energy works closely with the Environment Agency to ensure its operations maintain environmental compliance at all times.

"The regulatory system is very detailed and every part of Third’s operations is subject to close scrutiny, particularly during regular site visits from the Environment Agency."