Dangerous stunt proves that gas extraction wells don't all leak
Fracking activists that invaded the Third Energy gas extraction wellsite in Kirby Misperton on Saturday 21st October 2017, and scaled a workover rig, risked their own lives and those of workers and the public when they lit a flare - as seen in this photograph.
As a precaution, regulations ban naked flames and other sources of ignition like matches, lighters and mobile phones from being taken onto such sites.
But, whilst it was incredibly reckless of them, the fact that it didn't cause a fire or explosion shows that, during normal operations, wells like those on the Kirby Misperton site do not routinely spew gas (mostly methane) into the atmosphere.
Opponents of shale gas have tried to claim that fugitive methane emissions are unavoidable and run at levels that mean shale gas is worse for the climate than coal-fired power generation because methane has a higher Global Warming Potential than carbon dioxide.
The events at Third Energy's Kirby Misperton site prove beyond doubt that stray gas is not ever present the way opponents insist.