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What’s Involved in Hydraulic Fracturing?

Sep 26th 2015 at 10:12 AM

As oil-producing countries work to make the most out of their natural resources, hydraulic fracturing is becoming a popular method for enhancing production of gas and oil fields in North America and beyond. The distinct technique enables a greater capture of the natural resources trapped beneath the earth’s surface, which in turn, means greater production from deposits that might otherwise be left alone.

The hydraulic fracturing process involves the use of special oilfield chemicals that are injected into a well bore and into the producing formation. These fluids are injected under high pressure and rates with special pumps so that the formation is actually fractured in the process. This enables greater production recovery.

The fluids used in hydraulic fracturing are highly specialized chemicals created by oilfield chemical companies. In most cases, the fluids are primarily water-based and have varying concentrations of fracturing additives and proppants that do remain in the formation after fracturing. The proppants are used to “prop” the formation faces apart to create a conducive channel from the formation itself to a wellbore to enable enhanced production of gas and oil. The end result is the ability to capture gas and oil deposits that might have otherwise been inaccessible through standard drilling procedures.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” has become a popular extraction method for a number of reasons. This process is favored by many oil producing companies because it saves money while ensuring natural resources are carefully recovered. The process is also favored because it opens up the potential to tap into new reserves of oil and gas locked in shale formations found throughout North America. These untapped resources could conceivably make the United States, for example, an energy independent country.

Hydraulic fracturing is fast becoming an industry standard in America as states not typically associated with oil and gas production are finding this method enables them to bring jobs to their residents. Michigan, for example, is finding that this slice of the industry is bringing big business to the state. That state’s Department of Environmental Quality, in fact, has dedicated an entire portion of its website to answering questions about the process and debunking myths surrounding its use.

About Author
Chemplex Solvay Group provides companies in the oil and gas industry a competitive advantage through its comprehensive offering of quality fluid systems designed to meet specific location needs in cementing, stimulation (including fracturing) and acidizing.

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