Abstract : The collective behaviour of soliton ensembles (i.e. the solitonic gas) is studied using the methods of the direct numerical simulation. Traditionally this problem was addressed in the context of integrable models such as the celebrated KdV equation. We extend this analysis to non-integrable KdV-BBM type models. Some high resolution numerical results are presented in both integrable and nonintegrable cases. Moreover, the free surface elevation probability distribution is shown to be quasi-stationary. Finally, we employ the asymptotic methods along with the Monte-Carlo simulations in order to study quantitatively the dependence of some important statistical characteristics (such as the kurtosis and skewness) on the Stokes-Ursell number (which measures the relative importance of nonlinear effects compared to the dispersion) and also on the magnitude of the BBM term.