Alliant Techsystem's new method requires no chemicals or proppant to crack and lift the rock.

As this blog recently explored, record production levels have been reached through the use of new techniques and technologies. This week, another advancement has been reported, as oilfield service companies invest millions in the latest innovation that allegedly will make oil and gas wells cheaper to drill and more profitable to operate, according to Natural Gas Intelligence. 

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) told the source that they are developing an alternative to traditional hydraulic fracturing that could become the new standard for the industry. Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of the missile products division at ATK, claimed that the use of "high-energy, coated propellant sticks" deployed using a wireline truck and small crane could be used as effectively as traditional fracking methods, but without the use of chemicals or proppant. 

"Field demonstrations clearly show the tool works, often with significantly higher output, but not every well has responded predictably. This is not a surprise due to the varying rock formations, and to date that we have only been utilizing a single pressure-versus-time design. What is needed, and what we are actively pursuing at this time, is more data so we can correlate and then tailor to match the local geologic formations," Ralston told the source. 

As the technology continues to undergo safety and efficacy testing, oil and gas management consulting can be sought to ensure that the workforce is properly trained for the use of the new techniques, and that organizations are prepared for any resulting spikes in production. 

Advancements in technology continue to drive production in the modern oil and gas industry, and having access to experts with the experience and foresight to see how best to adapt these developments can help give upstream oil & gas companies a competitive advantage.