Ground Investigation

Gulf Laboratories have been providing ground investigation services in Qatar since the mid 1970s. From the initial ground investigation surveys at Ras Laffan as a greenfield site back in the late 1980s to the recently proposed passenger terminal expansion at Hamad International Airport, we are proud to have been able to contribute to the development of the country.

We provide ground investigation services for both local private clients as well as government and semi-government entities and international engineering consultants and contractors.  We have the capabilities of handling projects on all scales from simple structures to large petrochemical complexes and international airports and ports.

All our activities supervised by highly qualified, experienced geologists and engineers and are controlled in accordance with our quality and HSE management systems which have been certified to ISO 9001, ISO 45001, ISO 14001 and ISO/IEC 17025.



Carried out as part of other ground investigation projects or as standalone projects, hydrogeological investigations are performed to determine groundwater and aquifer characteristics.

In Qatar these investigations are regularly undertaken to provide design data for dewatering schemes or injection well capacities for brine/TSE disposal, to derive water well performance characteristics and pump selection criteria, etc.

All investigations are carried out in accordance with international standards (e.g. ISO 14686) and are and are directed and supervised by highly experienced degree or masters qualified hydrogeologists or geologists.

Services we can offer include:

  • Exploratory rotary core drilling
  • Drilling and installation of water wells, observation wells and groundwater monitoring wells
  • Installation of piezometers
  • Well casing, screen and filter pack installation
  • Geophysical well logging
  • Geophysical surveys
  • Pumping (abstraction) tests and injection testing
  • Groundwater sampling
  • Laboratory analysis of groundwater samples

We own and maintain all our own plant and equipment; main resources include the following:

  • 11 open hole/water well drilling rigs
  • Air compressors, water tankers, mobile water bowsers
  • A wide range of drilling equipment, including down-the-hole hammers, tricone roller bits, etc
  • Jean-Lutz drilling parameter/datalogger units
  • RG Micrologger borehole logging system
  • Geophysical survey equipment, including seismographs, geophones, landstreamers, electrical resistivity, electromagnetic
  • Submersible pumps, V-notch weir tanks, flowmeter, pressure transducers, dataloggers

Undertaken as one of the first exercises in a project cycle, a geotechnical investigation provides essential data on which to base foundation design and other ground related factors present at a development site.

Gulf Laboratories have been undertaking geotechnical investigations for various development projects in Qatar since the 1970s and, as such, have accumulated a vast archive of site investigation data. Our in-depth knowledge of ground conditions in Qatar has enabled us to provide advice on likely ground conditions and guidance on suitable investigation methods and extent of investigation required.

All investigations are carried out in accordance with international standards (BS 5930:2015, BS EN 1997, Eurocode 7, etc) and are directed and supervised by highly experienced degree or masters qualified geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, geophysicists and engineers.  We can provide both factual and interpretative reports together with investigation data in AGS format.

Our investigation methods include the following:

  • Borehole drilling (cable percussion and rotary coring) – onshore and nearshore
  • Trial pitting and trenching
  • Probe-hole drilling
  • Cone penetration testing
  • In-situ testing including, SPTs, plate bearing tests, CBRs, pressuremeter testing, etc
  • Soil, rock, groundwater sampling
  • Walkover surveys and geological mapping
  • Permeability testing
  • Geophysical surveys

We own and maintain all our own plant and equipment, main resources include the following:

  • 20 hydraulic rotary coring drilling rigs
  • 1 cable percussion drilling rig
  • Air compressors, water tankers, mobile water bowsers
  • A wide range of drilling equipment, core barrels, wireline drilling systems, core bits, etc
  • 2 shallow marine jack-up drilling platform “Nautilus” and “Ammonite” together with crew boat support
  • 1 Pagani Cone penetration rig (200kN)
  • Jean-Lutz drilling parameter / datalogger units
  • Pressuremeters (OYO Elastmeter 2)

Often carried out as part of geotechnical, hydrogeological or geo-environmental investigations, geophysical surveys provide non-intrusive collection of data relating to subsurface ground and groundwater conditions. In Qatar such surveys are frequently carried out in order to determine the presence of cavities or weak and fractured ground conditions which may pose a hazard to construction projects.

Techniques we can offer include:

  • Seismic refraction
  • Seismic reflection
  • Multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW)
  • Electrical resistivity
  • Ground penetrating radar (GPR)
  • Electromagnetic surveys
  • Downhole and crosshole seismic tests
  • Borehole geophysical surveys
  • Marine geophysical surveys

We own and maintain the following equipment, however we also rent in other geophysical acquisition equipment (e.g. GPR, EM, etc) on an as need basis

  • RG Micrologger, winch and sondes (acoustic televiewer, resistivity, caliper, natural gamma, impeller flowmeter, fullwave sonic, fluid temperature and conductivity)
  • 4 Geode Seismographs
  • 6 Landstreamers
  • Ohmega resistivity meter
  • Crosshole and downhole seismic test equipment

Our extensive fleet of drilling rigs can carry out exploratory coring in order to “calibrate” surface geophysical data.


Often carried out concurrently with geotechnical investigations, geo-environmental investigations are undertaken to investigate the presence, or not, of contamination hazards at the site in the ground or groundwater. Such investigations enable the early detection of potential constraints that may be present at the site and allow appropriate solutions to be incorporated into the project.

All investigations are carried out in accordance with international standards (e.g. BS 10175).

Services we can offer include

  • Trial pitting and trenching
  • Borehole drilling
  • Installation of groundwater monitoring wells
  • Soil and groundwater sampling
  • Shallow geophysical surveys
  • Laboratory analyses
  • Factual reporting*

*Should further advice be required on remediation or rehabilitation, we also utilize the services of various environmental consultants in Qatar who can provide in depth advice.

Contact Us

Tel: (+974) 4460 7036 Fax: (+974) 4460 7628 Email: [email protected]