The Groundbirch asset includes two fields in the Montney formation: Groundbirch and Gundy. Shell has an 80% working interest in Groundbirch and a 100% working interest in Gundy. 

The natural gas produced from the Montney formation is situated 2,500 meters below ground, trapped within a mixture of siltstone and shale. We use hydraulic fracturing, creating hairline cracks to unlock the natural gas that’s tightly trapped in the tiny pores of the rock.

Location: About 50 km south of Fort St. John, British Columbia

Products: Sales gas (methane), natural gas liquids and condensate

  • Sales gas (methane) is used for heating homes and offices
  • Natural gas liquids (NGL) include propane, butane and ethane. Propane is sold to domestic and United States distributors for heating, crop drying, auto fuel and petrochemical feedstock. Butane is shipped to refineries where is used as a gasoline blending component and as a fuel in products such as butane lighters and curling irons. Ethane is shipped by pipeline to petrochemical plants where it is used as a "building block" for a variety of chemicals and plastics.
  • Condensate is used by refineries to produce gasoline and diesel fuel

Facilities: Shell’s Groundbirch venture includes facilities for water and fluid handling, oil batteries and gas processing.

Staff: The facility employs an average of 150 employees and contractors in the Fort St. John office and field, with an additional daily average of 100-300 field contractors.

Contact Information: 1-888-384-6465

Water Management

Our approach to water: recycling and storage

  • Protecting and managing water are important issues for both Shell and the community
  • We are looking for innovative ways to reduce the amount of water we use for our activities to minimize impacts 
  • We are minimizing the use of fresh water by recycling and reusing water from our processing plants and gas wells – we currently recycle over 90 percent of our flowback water and 70-80% of all the water that flows back to surface
  • We have built two water storage and recycling facilities; with a 3rd under construction at Gundy
  • Our produced water ponds are covered by nets to deter birds and wildlife
  • We also build pipelines to distribute the water throughout our field (will minimize traffic (HSE and air emissions), noise and dust)
  • At Brassey, we use 7000m3 to frac one well and it all flows back over time; through pipeline use we prevent 460 truckloads from being on the road.
  • The pipeline option is expected to eliminate 3 million km a year in truck trips over the course of full field development.

The Development Chain process chart explains our development chain at Groundbirch, from seismic testing in exploration to natural gas production and distribution into your home.


At Shell, we aim to be good neighbors and seek appropriate and effective ways to contribute to the well-being of the communities in the vicinity of our operations and planned future developments. This means working with people close to our operations to address their concerns and help them benefit from our activities, such as buying and hiring locally. 

Shell partnered with the nearby city of Dawson Creek( link to article on Shell online here) to build a reclaimed water facility to treat the city’s wastewater for reuse in the industry and community. This has allowed Shell Groundbirch to reduce its use of fresh water and has created a potential revenue stream for Dawson Creek.

We work to strengthen our relationships with First Nations groups and include them in our operations whenever possible. We seek community input in decision-making processes and have community liaison officers on the ground, available 24 hours a day. 

Once our operations are complete, we restore the area to as close to the natural surrounding area as possible and monitor the land until habitat matures. We lead the industry in these reclamation and abandonment efforts. Shell not only invests in native plant species, but we pass along our learnings. For example, in Canada, we have held training courses in native plant reclamation for First Nation groups.

The Groundbirch Gazette

The Groundbirch Gazette is the bi-annual Shell newsletter for northeast B.C. featuring Shell stories from the Groundbirch area.

Rural Roots & Resources Community Advisory Group

Rural Roots & Resources, a B.C. based synergy group, is a collaborative process between Shell and community members. The intention is to work together as a team to face and address the issues and challenges associated with the development of Shell’s projects in the Groundbirch area.

For more information, please call 1-888-384-6465.

Dawson Creek Reclaimed Water Project

At Shell’s Groundbirch natural gas asset in Northeast British Columbia, we recognize the importance of managing water responsibly.

Dawson Creek Reclaimed Water Project

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