Onshore Petroleum and Shale Gas

GGS provides a flexible approach to risk management and environmental monitoring to provide a cost-effective service for the onshore petroleum industry. GGS utilises continuous ground gas monitoring, and other ‘Best Available Technologies’ (BAT), to acquire robust, authoritative data that is designed to provide confidence to regulators, local communities and interested third parties that no environmental damage has occurred.

This is an important element in maintaining a social licence to operate.

GGS provide the following services to Onshore Petroleum Operators:

  • Environmental Baseline Studies (EBS) & Risk Assessment
  • Continuous Monitoring (Baseline, Operational and Post-Operational)
  • Specialist Sampling and Laboratory Testing
  • Technical and Non-Technical Reporting
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Risk Communication

Service Overview

Ground-Gas Solutions Ltd (GGS) is the market leader in Environmental Baseline Studies (EBS), Environmental Risk Assessments (ERA), continuous ground-gas and ground-water monitoring for shale gas exploration at the baseline, exploration, operational and post-operational stages.

Through its experience, GGS has developed the ‘best practice’ approach to environmental monitoring at European shale gas exploration sites. Our approach is designed to meet the most stringent European regulatory controls and to provide robust and verifiable evidence that environmental management systems are working and pollution is not occurring.

The GGS approach to risk management and environmental monitoring is flexible and takes into account site specific conditions to provide cost effective services commensurate with environmental sensitivity of a site. This responsive methodology is designed to meet the UK’s goal based approach to regulation and demonstrate that environmental risks have been reduced to ‘As Low As Reasonably Practicable’(ALARP).

GGS’s independent continuous monitoring approach, using ‘Best Available Technologies’ (BAT) and ‘Best Environmental Practices’ (BEP), gives operators, regulators, local communities and interested third parties, confidence that the highest standards of environmental protection are being used; an important element in maintaining a social licence to operate.

Service Concept

GGS believes that the best approach to address the real and imagined fears associated with unconventional petroleum development is to demonstrate in an open and transparent manner that appropriate environmental protection systems are being used and that these systems are working.

We use a robust ‘lines of evidence’ approach to gather pre-drilling, baseline information on the natural, background conditions at an exploration drilling site. The geochemical conditions in the soils and groundwater are characterised and where methane and carbon dioxide are encountered these are carefully sampled and analysed in specialist laboratories to ‘finger-print’ their character and provenance. During exploration drilling, hydraulic fracturing (HF) operations and beyond, GGS continuously monitor the soils and groundwater to obtain independent and impartial evidence that adverse impacts have not occurred by comparing the operational monitoring data with the baseline conditions. In addition, if a gas or fluid release event were to occur, GGS’ service provides early warning to the operator so that appropriate action can be immediately taken to minimise environmental impacts.

At the heart of GGS’ service is clear and concise communication in both technical and non-technical formats. Authoritative and impartial reports are regularly produced and provided to key stakeholders as part of the broader communication strategy.

Service Benefits

The GGS’ unique service offers the following benefits:

  • Independent experienced team ofgeo-environmental geologists & hydrogeologists
  • Robust authoritative continuous monitoring data
  • Flexible and responsive monitoring approach
  • Demonstrable environmental compliance
  • Improved communication with regulators and local community
  • Early warning system
  • Reduced concerns and increased confidence
  • Cost benefits of integrated specialist services

GGS Service Details

All industrial processes and mineral operations carry potential risks of environmental damage. Exploration licencing, permitting and planning regimes, with government regulation, ensure that environmental risks are effectively managed by appropriate design and operational procedures. Best practice for shale gas operations includes the construction of a fully lined containment system at drilling sites to protect surface soils and groundwater and double or triple cased and cemented wells to prevent possible gas and fluid escapes. GGS’s monitoring and specialist laboratory testing service provides the evidence that these systems are working and in the unlikely event that an incident occurs, early warning so that appropriate action is taken.

• Continuous ground-gas and groundwater monitoring provides graphical output for ease of interpretation and clear visual evidence ideally suited for both technical & non-technical reporting.

• Natural fluctuations of ground-gas and groundwater due to key driver mechanisms associated with changes in atmospheric pressure, temperature and groundwater levels are recorded and understood.

• Regular ground-gas and groundwater sampling and specialist laboratory analysis accurately characterises the natural geochemistry of the site. Comparative samples of the shale gas are compared with the naturally occurring near surface gases using isotopic ratios and higher chain hydrocarbon contents to distinguish between the different thermogenic and biogenic provenances


Read the GGS Services to Onshore Petroleum brochure here.

Shale gas site

Read an article on GGS’ work with Cuadrilla Resources Ltd here.