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Unconventional hydrocarbon exploration in the UK is in its infancy and Third Energy's activities represent a major step towards unlocking the potential contained within the Carboniferous section beneath North Yorkshire. In the United States, production from unconventional petroleum systems has transformed the country's domestic energy markets. If the UK can replicate this success, it would go some way to offsetting the decline of North Sea production and thereby reduce dependence on foreign imports.

At the end of 2015, no other company had undertaken any unconventional exploration in North Yorkshire and great uncertainty remained over the region's prospectivity. To rectify this dearth of information, Third Energy carried out a detailed examination of vintage data from the area and also drilled a new well to acquire a modern, unconventionally focused dataset, including approximately 800 ft of core and 4000 ft of wireline log data. Analysis of the mineralogy, maturity, kerogen type, total organic content, brittleness, porosity and permeability of the Carboniferous Bowland sequence has enabled several intervals to be high graded. Given these results, Third Energy now plan to hydraulically fracture these intervals with the intent of producing the UK's first unconventionally sourced electricity at its Knapton Generating Station.

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