Shale Gas: The case for independent environmental monitoring

18Jun / 2018

Shale Gas: The case for independent environmental monitoring

With the ever pressing need to move away from high carbon fuels and substantially reduce our CO2 emissions, the UK’s Committee on Climate Change has identified that natural gas, including shale gas, will continue to have a significant role in the UK’s energy mix up to 2050.

However, it is crucial that shale gas exploration and development is carried out safely while also protecting the environment. Independent environmental monitoring in line with robust regulation  will ensure that this occurs and enable shale gas to be an effective transition fuel to a low carbon future.

Since 2011, GGS has been in discussions with the government, regulators and operators on developing best practice for the independent environmental monitoring of the emerging shale gas sector.

With almost ten years of experience in developing leading edge techniques and technology to ensure the effective monitoring of key environmental parameters, we take our role of advisor very seriously. As experts in our field, and through our position as an independent body, we are committed to providing accurate and honest advice at the forefront of this emerging industry. When it comes to shale, our aim is to assist both operators and local communities to understand the importance of independent environmental monitoring and developing a safe shale industry.  As an SME, GGS is also committed to advancing the prospects of small British businesses.

To show our history in this process, and our commitment to our goals, here’s a timeline of GGS’ involvement in the shale industry so far:

2012: GGS contributed to the Royal Society’s and Royal Academy of Engineering’s independent review of hydraulic fracturing in UK shales. This report stressed the importance of independent environmental monitoring of shale gas developments before, during and post-operation to inform risk assessments.

2013: GGS became the first UK supply chain company to be invited as an associated member of UK Onshore Oil and Gas UKOOG, a trade body for petroleum operators working in the sector.

2013: GGS became one of the first associate members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Unconventional Oil & Gas, contributing to debates on best practice for the environmental monitoring of the sector.

2014: Involvement in All Party Parliamentary Group leads to the formation of the UK’s Onshore Energy Services Group (OESG).

2014: GGS is commissioned to produce guidelines for the “Establishment of Environmental Baselines for UK Onshore Oil and Gas” for the industry trade body. This document built on the Royal Society’s recommendations provided best practice policy advice on producing baseline environmental data for hydraulic fracturing.

2014: GGS presents on continuous environmental monitoring to the Environment Agency’s Onshore Oil & Gas Technical Team at the DEFRA offices in London.

2014: Simon Talbot, Managing Director of GGS, gives evidence to Chester and Cheshire West Council’s Inquiry into Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction.

2016: Simon as a member of OESG meets with the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, to discuss further how UK SMEs could be involved within the onshore petroleum sector.

2012 to 2017: Simon delivers training to numerous UK and Irish councils, minerals planning authorities and planning officer groups on shale gas exploration, development, regulation and monitoring.

2018: Simon attends round table discussion held by the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, onshore, operators, investors, regulators, trade union and former mining area representatives to discuss the importance of shale gas in the context of job creation and energy security.

2018: GGS continues to contribute to the UKOOG Environmental Leadership Group.

GGS continues to promote best practice within the shale gas industry, which means environmental monitoring performed by independent accredited third parties throughout the entire development process.

Delivered with transparency and accountability, this approach gives operators and local communities the best possible understanding of the true impacts of shale gas development. With an increasing acceptance of our need to develop our own resources, the UK can progress towards achieving energy self-sufficiency using strong local environmental protections.

If you’d like to find out more about our services within the shale industry, please click here.

If you’d like to speak to one of our team, please call 0161 232 7465.