05Jul / 2016
Ground-Gas Solutions (GGS) recently attended a joint conference held by Water UK, British Water, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG).
The conference discussed the latest expertise on water supply and waste water treatment associated with an emerging UK onshore oil and gas industry. The wider practices of environmental monitoring in the industry were also raised, stressing the importance of strong processes and regulatory systems.
The event was opened by Ken Cronin (CEO, UKOOG), who set the scene of the UK Energy Trilemma of balancing the reduction of carbon emissions with improving security of energy supply whilst keeping costs down. Ken indicated that these objectives can only be achieved by the UK developing all forms of available energy, and that will mean developing natural gas resources. Failing to do so would result in increased energy poverty. It would also result in missing the real opportunity of substantially reducing the UK’s green house gas emissions by moving to hydrogen fuel, through methane steam reforming coupled with carbon capture and storage.
Ken Cronin, CEO UKOOG, opens the conference
Jim Marshall (Water UK) reported on the memorandum of understanding between the water industry and UKOOG to move towards Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). This is a real achievement as it provides solutions and greater understanding of the likely impacts associated with an emerging onshore industry. It is now recognised that the volumes of water involved in onshore petroleum exploration are not substantial as once believed, but care is still needed in those parts of the country where water resources are stressed.
Terry Fuller (CEO, CIWEM) observed that world-wide, between 2% and 3% of global energy is expended on waste water treatment and that minimising this use will provide significant environmental benefits. Terry also made reference to past sustainable water treatment schemes used for waste water from abandoned mine workings and the opportunities to apply similar methods to on-shore petroleum sites.
Finally, Simon Talbot of Ground-Gas Solutions (GGS) presented on the importance of high quality environmental monitoring before, during and after on-shore oil and gas operations. The key starting point is a robust desk study and ‘Conceptual Site Model’ (CSM) which feeds into all following regulatory processes, including planning applications, environmental permitting and community engagement stages. Simon specifically stressed the need for Environmental Baseline Monitoring (EBM), which despite being a perfectly achievable process, operators and their consultants only have one chance to get it right.
To find out more about GGS’s continuous monitoring services for shale gas and onshore petroleum, click here.