The hydraulic fracture plan (frack plan), which outlines how the firm will control and monitor the process, has been approved by the agency following a thorough assessment.

Third Energy CEO Rasik Valand said: “We will now be in a position to prepare and submit a formal application to the Secretary of State for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent (HFC).

“The Hydraulic Fracture Plan is a technical document that sets out how the company will meet a range of specific regulatory protections around hydraulic fracturing. These measures are in addition to the established regulatory environment which covers all onshore oil and gas development.”

The company is required to secure an approval for the frack plan prior to the start of fracking for shale gas in the vicinity of Kirby Misperton in compliance with the operator’s environmental permit, which was granted in April 2016.

The Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We are satisfied with Third Energy’s arrangements for monitoring during and after hydraulic fracturing.

The spokesperson noted that environmental permits will protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and also ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste.

“The Environment Agency is committed to ensuring that shale gas operations meet the highest environmental standards and can only go ahead if they are safe for people and the environment.”

The agency said that their staff will undertake regular on-site checks and audits in order to make sure that the company is meeting the required standards.