Oklahoma Patent of the Month – November 2023

In the realm of oil and gas extraction, novel methodologies are reshaping the landscape of shale formations, particularly those categorized as nano-darcy. A darcy is a unit of permeability for fluids in a porous material. A nano–darcy shale has pore sizes within the shale which span the size of hydrocarbons.

Stimulating a well in nano-darcy shale is no easy feat. Conventional methods have often proven ineffective due to the unique nature of these formations, characterized by extremely low permeability and intricate compositions. However, Flex-Chem Holding Company, LLC, who is rapidly becoming recognized as a leader in innovative chemical solutions for the oil and gas industry, has designed a solution for these limitations.

The magic lies in a meticulously crafted treatment mixture containing a metal complexing agent combined with an acid as a pH modifier. By allowing these components to intermingle over a specified contact time—ranging from minutes to days—this pioneering method removes the bound naturally-occurring metals from the shale formation.

Flex-Chem’s methodology further leverages hydraulic fracturing, injecting the treatment mixture into the formation in tandem with the propagation of induced fractures. This results in an unprecedented boost in permeability, revolutionizing the potential for increased hydrocarbon production from these complex shale formations.

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