GasGun vs. Fracing

How does the GasGun compare with hydraulic fracturing?

The GasGun can be used in replacement of hydraulic fracturing in some applications and can also be used in advance of hydraulic fracturing to reduce breakdown pressures and aid in the stimulation. In reservoirs with very low matrix permeability a large hydraulic fracture treatment is often necessary and can create a fracture hundreds, if not thousands, of feet in length.  But often the GasGun can be used to solve production problems quickly and cost effectively without the need for hydraulic fracturing. 

 The GasGun tool creates a radial fracture network which penetrates 10 – 50 feet into the formation increasing near wellbore transmissivity.  Very often it is nearbore damage that can be the biggest restriction to flow in a wellbore and the GasGun is designed to bypass damage without the need for injecting foreign fluids into the reservoir.  The GasGun can be a very economical alternative, requires much less on-site equipment and can replace small to medium hydraulic fracture treatments.

GasGun vs. 5 Tonne Sand Frac: Look at these results obtained by a major Canadian producer who compared the GasGun against their frac treatments.

Hydraulic fracturing creates a single fracture oriented perpendicular to the least principal in situ stress. Unfortunately, the fracture propagates vertically as well as laterally seeking the path of least resistance. Many hydraulic fractures have been known to break out of the producing formation and into aquifers and thief zones. While the fractures produced by the GasGun are more limited in length, gas pressures overpower the in situ state of stress, creating multiple radial fractures with minimal vertical growth. As a result GasGun fractures are much less likely to wander out of the producing zone.

The multiple fractures created by the GasGun may also be much more effective than hydraulic fracturing in naturally fractured reservoirs. Hydraulic fractures commonly propagate parallel to most of the existing fractures or “with the grain”. Multiple fractures may not extend as far, but may link the well to more of the natural fractures.

Advantages – GasGun vs. hydraulic fracturing

  • Minimal vertical growth out of pay
  • Multiple fractures
  • Selected zones stimulated without the need to set packers or ball off
  • Minimal formation damage from incompatible fluids
  • Homogeneous permeability for injection wells
  • Minimal on-site equipment needed
  • Much lower cost

Comparison of Drainage Areas Achieved in a Naturally Fractured Reservoir

Multi Fracture Photo