Waterless fracking makes its way to eastern Ohio. The amount of natural gas in Ohio is still to be determined, and “right now we’re still in an exploratory phase,” said Brian Hickman, a spokesperson for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.
Ohio is rich in shale called, Utica Shale. While companies have successfully used horizontal fracking techniques with Marcellus, Barnett, and other shale, drilling companies are still figuring out the best technique for Utica. In Ohio, about 65 Utica Shale wells have been drilled using traditionally fracking techniques. Each drill required 5 to 6 million gallons of water, according to a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“I think the results they’re getting [in the Utica] are sub-par, and they’re looking for an alternative,” said Kyle Ward, GasFrac’s spokesperson.
Two Utica wells in Ohio are testing liquid petroleum gas (LPG fracking). The technique was founded in 2006. GasFrac seems to be the world’s only provider of LPG fracking.
LPG fracking is a mixture of sand and pressurized propane gel injected through pipes at high pressures (similar to traditional fracking). The gel releases the oil and gas by fracturing the shale formation and releasing natural gas.
GasFrac, noted that LPG “significantly increases production while minimizing water usage.” GasFrac also believe that LPG fracking can be more environmentally sustainable and economically efficient in the long run — compared to traditional fracking techniques.
“It’s no secret we’re going to the Utica,” Zeke Zeringue, GasFrac’s CEO, said in a May conference call. “Obviously we hope that leads to an establishment of some sort of base of operations.”