Multi-Stage Fracturing (MSF) is a proven technological advancement which allows producers to recover oil and gas safely from shale/tight-rock oil formations. MSF is used not only to jump start the production process in unconventional formations and in unfavorable locations, but to stimulate production in older wells and formations.
Experts have known for years that oil and gas deposits existed in unconventional and older formations, but, until recently, the vast resources in these formations were not thought to be recoverable. Today, through the use of MSF, combined with sophisticated horizontal drilling, and major advances in available chemistry solutions, extraordinary amounts of carbonate and deep shale, oil and gas from across Canada and the U.S are being safely produced.
Typical fracking involves pumping large amounts of pressurized water, a proppant (usually sand) and very small amounts of chemicals into the rock layers where the oil or gas is trapped. The water pressure creates tiny fissures in the rock, and the sand opens the fissures, allowing the oil or gas to escape and flow up the well.
“With the advancement of relevant chemistries, we are able to eliminate the need for proppant in specific areas, and drastically reduce the use of fresh water,” states Dail Croome, President of StimSol Canada Inc. “Our chemistry breakthroughs have allowed us to continue to have success with more potent acid blends, mainly hydrochloric acid, but we have also had success with other acids with equally beneficial properties. We will continue to test the boundaries of our chemical solutions to allow StimSol to offer our customers alternatives so that we can respond to dynamic market conditions.”
Typically producers have been using diluted HCl, from 10-20 per cent blends. Because of its ability to dissolve rock, it acts as an excellent frac and stimulation fluid. The challenges with using HCl have typically been the potency of HCl. At specific downhole temperatures and conditions, HCI will often create an emulsion that leaves the producer with some significant post-frac problems. To add to that, as producers experimented with using higher concentrations of HCl, the emulsion problems increased.
Producers continue to experiment with various methods to reduce their emulsion challenges, without realizing the differences in results as they relate to chemical blends. Frac problems, such as acid fracs, are more likely relative to the chemical blend they use, than in the mechanics or operations methods used.
“I can very confidently say that the commonly accepted challenges that producers have been dealing with regarding emulsion are totally unnecessary when the proper chemistry is applied,” says Dail.
As a testament to the success of the StimSol’s chemistry, in an independent study, it was observed that,“The Swan Hills reef complex located in north central Alberta, did not receive broad attention until Arcan Resources became a 5,000 boe producer, using StimSol’s chemistry solutions exclusively. Arcan released its first well results showing significant productive potential of the formation, when using MSF and the right chemistry. To date, Arcan has over 20 wells in the public domain that trend above the mean/median curves for the area.”
Dail states, “Stimsol’s strategy is to deploy a ‘conscious’ management team with extensive oilfield experience, combined with access to a network of acid, solvent and chemical supplies. Our goal is to overcome environmental challenges, such as minimizing the use of fresh water, and minimizing disposal volumes. That is their key to our success. Additionally, having our own laboratory for research and operations, Stimsol Canada Inc. provides unparalleled support and customised product blends for new and innovative solutions.”
Chemical solutions coupled with a reliable delivery system through pumping services and transportation divisions places Stimsol in a very unique position to ensure environmentally conscious and responsible-results for this new and sustainable energy era. ￼
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