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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and…

More Info

Russia Claims To Have Invented Alternative To Fracking


Russian scientists and local oil field services companies claim to have created a technology for thermochemical gas fracturing that could be an alternative to hydraulic fracturing and could increase oil production by between 1.7 and 6 times, Russia’s news agency RIA Novosti reports, citing the University of Tyumen’s press service.

In hydraulic fracturing, rocks are fractured with high-pressure injection of fluids, while the new breakthrough technology, as claimed by Russian scientists and media, is creating chemical reactions in the strata that contain oil.

The chemicals react and emit heat and gas, which makes extraction easier and lifts well productivity, according to the scientists and researchers.

The other upside in the technology, the Russians claim, is that the main component in the chemical reactions is ammonium nitrate, which is often used as fertilizer.

According to Professor Konstantin Fedorov, Director of the Institute of Physics and Technology at the University of Tyumen and the scientific consultant on the project, the improved well productivity effect lasts between 300 and 1,000 days. Production increases by between 1.7 times and 6 times compared to the initial output level, although the scientists have seen tests with production increases of 10 to 20 times.

The success rate is close to 100 percent, Fedorov claims, as reported by Russian media.

According to the University of Tyumen, the project—partially supported by government funding—had the goal to create an innovative and, more importantly, Russian method of oil and gas production.  Related: Turkey Expands Influence In Kurdish Energy Sector

The project partners plan to begin the first tests at operational wells of one of Rosneft’s subsidiaries in September, according to the University of Tyumen.

Plans are that the new technology could also be tested at oil fields of other major Russian companies, including Tatneft, Bashneft, and Gazprom Neft, Sputnik International reports.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Henry on August 17 2017 said:
    Oh goodness thats funny. The Rusians invented a new way to get oil...flammable and its by products are nitrates.....explosives.
  • Dan on August 17 2017 said:
    Making Russian drillers the place to go for countries hit hard by this oil price manipulation. Definitely a fubar by U.S. government under Obama.
  • Marvellous on August 17 2017 said:
    Incredible, well good luck with that. I would certainly keep my distance from this activity, I sure hope there will be no torching involved.
    Oh well, the russians have never been afraid of putting their people in harms way.
  • KC on August 17 2017 said:
    So....build a giant pipe bomb? What could possibly go wrong with that approach?
  • regan on August 17 2017 said:
    russia what????? buhahahahhahha
  • Naomi on August 18 2017 said:
    Ammonium nitrate is more expensive than oil.
  • Don Clifford on August 18 2017 said:
    If true, a real game changer. In the US, advances are under way in microwave extraction. If prices begin to recover, enhanced recovery willl likely put a ceiling on it.
  • John_The_Fracker on August 18 2017 said:
    This sounds a lot like ANFO which is a mixture of diesel and ammonium nitrate which has been used in the past in US oil wells (and the Oklahoma bombing). So it may be new for Russia but not for the US
  • HansVF on August 18 2017 said:
    If true, then yet another nail in the OPEC coffin... and - for Russia, yet another iteration of shooting themselves in the foot !
  • JTurner on August 18 2017 said:
    Your comment is just perfect, Henry! Lol.
  • Bill Simpson on August 18 2017 said:
    If true, they will push down the price of their most valuable natural resource, oil, because the secret will eventually leak out, and increase global oil production massively. That, along with advances in batteries, and global warming concerns, will depress the price for oil for decades to come.
    Interestingly, ammonium nitrate is made from natural gas. The US has a lot of that.
  • Paul Farrell on August 18 2017 said:
    As mentioned this is dangerous stuff in large quantities. Further the reaction results in harmless water vapour and Nitrous Oxide, which is as harmful to the Ozone layer as CFC's.
  • Ben on August 20 2017 said:
    The method we have in the US literally creates flammable water so I wouldn't go putting down the Russians for their method.
  • netdragon on August 21 2017 said:
    All people need is fertilizer in their drinking water. We think the lawsuits are bad now?
  • Paul S on August 23 2017 said:
    This doesn't seem to increase the recoverable EUR or the well, just speeds it up. Seems like a moderate-high risk for little reward.
  • Snork on August 23 2017 said:
    If they are using ammonium nitrate as an explosive, and it appears they are, the basic technology has been around since the 1860s right after the days of Colonel Drake in Titusville, PA. They called it oil well 'shooting'. But, the use of liquid/solid propellants for oil well stimulation were reexamined back in the '80s, and some of the advances that came from that exercise are still in use today.
  • steve on September 06 2017 said:
    A fertilizer and petroleum mixture? Isn't that the formula for the bomb that McVeigh used to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma? Sounds like a typically Russian idea.
  • Geoff on September 07 2017 said:
    Read the article people! "The chemicals react and emit heat and gas" - in other words an exothermic reaction and not an explosion as many are suggesting.
    Now if a detonator or mechanical shock was to be introduced, I guess there is a possibility of an explosion but not being a chemist I don't know what that risk is. Propellant stimulation, typically using ammonium percolate is already commonplace anyway - including in the USA.

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