Non-Flammable Liquid Propane Used for 100% Waterless Fracking

An interesting press release from eCORP Stimulation Technologies was issued last week about a new patented innovation that allows the company to manufacture a 100% nonflammable propane fracking fluid. Propane fracking has advantages because it goes down as a liquid, does it’s work in breaking apart the rock, then evaporates to a gas and comes back out the hole and is recovered.

You may recall last year eCORP had a deal with GASFRAC (another waterless fracking solution) to potentially drill and frack wells in Tioga County, NY. That deal, however, fell through (see Tioga County, NY Lease Deal with eCORP Falls Apart). After the deal fell apart, eCORP worked on developing its own waterless fracking solution. We reported in January that eCORP was testing the new technology on their first well in the U.S. (see eCORP Tests New Waterless LPG Fracking Method on First Shale Well). Apparently the tests have gone well. Here’s the latest from eCORP:

eCORP Stimulation Technologies, LLC ("ecorpStim"), a subsidiary of eCORP International, LLC ("eCORP"), today announced plans to deliver a propane-based technology which renders the propane stimulation fluid non-flammable. Patent application has been filed and further testing and experimentation of this technology has been initiated confirming its environmental safety and commercial viability.

ecorpStim has successfully demonstrated the use of pure liquid propane for the stimulation, or fracturing, of hydrocarbon bearing reservoir rock. The ecorpStim equipment design affords multiple layers of isolation and protection from the flammability risk associated with the use of propane and the production of natural gas, a stimulation process which is fully automated, remote controlled, and in which there is no human exposure to such risks. This latest innovation by ecorpStim will further ensure the intrinsically safe operation of the liquid propane stimulation process.

This advanced version of the technology that will be used by ecorpStim represent some of the latest developments being used in residential and commercial fire protection systems. Moreover, these fire suppressants are not harmful to humans and are environmentally safe with zero ozone depletion potential.

The use of liquid propane as an alternative to water for stimulating hydrocarbon production represents a natural and environmentally safe means of oil and gas extraction. By rendering the liquid propane non-flammable, ecorpStim has significantly reduced the safety risk of using propane for these purposes in applicable circumstances.

eCORP’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Robert Lestz, commented, "This represents a major enhancement to non-aqueous alternatives to stimulating a shale reservoir. By utilizing propane, a fluid that originates in oil and gas reservoirs, we are minimizing damage in the reservoir while eliminating the need for any water usage and handling of water waste streams. And by making the liquid propane non-flammable, we further allay concerns some may have about the safety of the process."

Dr. John Thrash, eCORP’s CEO and Chairman, stated, "We are extremely pleased with this very positive enhancement in ecorpStim’s capabilities and safety features. We are dedicated to ensuring safety in all aspects of our operations, and continue to strive to provide superior options in terms of safety and environmental care and concern in our products and services.

The option of non-flammable liquid propane stimulation marks a landmark development in the path for sustainable "green" shale gas development. We intend to extend this design philosophy and demonstrate that a dramatically reduced impact can be achieved through combination with other innovations in drilling and exploration technologies that we are developing at eCORP."*

    *eCORP Stimulation Technologies, LLC (Apr 5, 2013) – ecorpStim Announces Non-Flammable Liquid Propane Stimulation

    • Anthony Yacopino

      Maybe eCorp would like to come back to Tioga County Landowners with a traditional type lease and do some business together?? Now that they have a method that derails almost every negative the antis can dream up, it is time to take this method right to Cuomo. Have him involved from start to finish on a test well. After it is shown to be safe with very minimal impact on the environment, there will be NO MORE EXCUSES to not allow fracking (at least with this type of method).

    • Jim Willis

      I certainly would like to see it and think it’s worth a try. The potential problems: Gas is selling for a lot less than it used to (although up double from last year)…still, eCORP’s method costs more than traditional water-based fracking, so right out of the gate you face an economics question of whether or not it could be done at a reasonable profit. If it could, that would be great–and would point out the true nature of the opposition because they would invent new lies about this technology—anything that derails alternative energy for them is evil.

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    • epicjourney

      I would like to know how they make propane inflammable – propane in its gaseous form is inflammable….

    • Jim Willis

      Yes, propane is flammable. But apparently in a liquid state, mixed with something (not sure what) it can be made inflammable. I guess that’s their secret sauce. Unfortunately you just don’t hear a lot about this promising technology. I’m guessing it costs a lot more than traditional water-based fracking.

    • epicjourney

      So when it comes back up the hole it is in the gaseous state – hence inflammable (explosive).

    • Jim Willis

      Yes! What comes back out as gas would be flammable–mixed in with the methane coming out that’s highly flammable–which is the reason they’re after it. It’s the drilling part when the drill bit is chewing away (and needs to be cooled and lubricated) that needs an inflammable fluid.

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