New Waterless Fracking Technology Tested in TX

no waterFrom time to time MDN has covered alternative fracking technologies. As a few MDN readers have repeatedly noted in the comments, a new technology which uses natural gas itself (instead of water) in the fracking process is being used in Canada and now, it is being tried in Texas. Jadela Oil is conducting what they call a “science experiment” in Maverick County, Texas, in the Eagle Ford Shale, to see if this new waterless fracking technology will work as well in our shale deposits as it does in Canada.

Jadela recently completed fracking their first well in September using propane/butane and they are waiting for full data on how the well is producing before making the results known.

Jadela Oil Corp., a Calgary, Alberta-based company has opened a U.S. subsidiary with an office in San Antonio.

The company is testing a propane/butane fracking technique in the Eagle Ford Shale that it had previously used in Canada.

According to Greg Leia, president of the company, Jadela Oil Corp. has leasing rights to more then 21,000 acres in Maverick County and has begun testing in its first well.

While still in the testing process, Leia believes his fracking method will increase productivity and reduce cost. He said it is also is more environmentally friendly.

Leia said the propane/butane fracking process uses far less material and has a higher recovery rate.

Hydraulic fracking on average takes between 4.5 and 5 million gallons of water for one well, while it would only take 600,000 gallons of propane/butane for the same well.

The pressure can be made higher with propane than water, so that increases the oil flow. The propane/butane has a 60 to 70 percent recovery rate if it comes back out of the well in four days. The material can then be separated and stored on site for reuse when the well is drilled. Being able to reuse the same material brings drown the cost of the overall process substantially.

Leia compares the first well Jadela Oil Corp drilled in Texas to a “science experiment,” and it isn’t proven yet.

While the process works in Canada, he is unsure if it will work as well here; however, preliminary results look promising.

He said the company completed the propane fracking at the end of September 2011, and is now studying producing data. He said it takes 60 to 90 days after a well is drilled to know if it is going to produce well.

If all goes well, Jadela Oil Corp. will be expanding and drilling more. “We want to produce more for less,” Leia said. “If we can do it, it makes our lands worth more.”

Leia is not against hydraulic fracking but rather believes in thinking outside the box to see if there is a better, safer way to accomplish the same thing.*

* (Nov 19, 2011) – Possible alternative to hydraulic fracking