Anti-fracking lobby concerned about Halliburton’s involvement in UK shale

Halliburton Headquarters
Source: DollarPhotoClub

The oilfield giant Halliburton may be among companies providing services to Third Energy at a site at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale – UK daily The Guardian reported.

Third Energy spokesman explained to The Guardian that “As is normal in the oil and gas industry, Third Energy is discussing the scope of work, for various services and equipment contracts, with a range of potential sub-contractors,” he said. “At this stage no contracts have been awarded but Halliburton is one of the companies with whom we are in discussion.”

It is not clear what kind of work Halliburton could potentially carry out at Kirby. The company spokesperson described the services as “commercially confidential”.

The presence of Halliburton among companies tendering for contracts alarmed anti-fracking campaigners, concerned about the company’s past record which includes the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, where Halliburton paid out over $1bn in settlement and admitted destroying evidence, as well as a fire in June 2014 at a fracking site in Ohio, where large quantities of chemicals spilled into a river, killing 70,000 fish.

What further angered the campaigners was the fact Halliburton’s involvement only came to light through a freedom of information request.

“Third Energy have been claiming that they are operating ‘transparently’, yet they have obviously been trying to keep the involvement of such a controversial company from the public. This is not the sort of behaviour local people expect from a so-called ‘good neighbour’,” Charlie Redston, of Frack Free Ryedale told the newspaper.

The are questions to be raised when it comes to operations that involve several companies, each with different attitudes towards ‘transparency’. Third Energy said it would disclose the chemicals to be used in the fracking fluid once the EA had signed off their proposal – a stance similar to that of Baker Hughes which agreed to voluntarily disclose the full make-up of its fracking fluids in October. However, in November 2014 the company was acquired by Halliburton, which considers such disclosure as a breach of their trading secrets.

Once Third Energy has submitted its permit application, the EA said it will carry out a public consultation to allow communities to have their views taken into account before any permitting decisions are made. Campaigners from Frack Free Ryedale have already staged protests outside EA on Friday while officials met Third Energy to discuss the company’s plans.

“Halliburton is not the type of company that should be allowed to perform a test frack here,” Chris Redston told The Guardian.

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