The GasGun generates high pressure gases at a rate that creates a fracturing behavior dramatically different from either hydraulic fracturing or explosives. The time to peak pressure is approximately 10,000 times slower than explosives and 10,000 times faster than hydraulic fracturing. While the physics of this dynamic process are complex to model, proven results from the field demonstrate the practical advantages to a GasGun stimulation.
The GasGun uses solid propellant, often referred to as a low explosive, to generate high pressure gas at a rapid rate. The rate is tailored to the formation characteristics to be rapid enough to create multiple fractures radiating 10 to 50 feet from the wellbore, but not so rapid as to pulverize and compact the rock as is experienced with classic high explosives such as nitroglycerine. The star-shaped pattern of multiple fractures removes wellbore damage or blockage and increases the formation permeability near the wellbore.
While the concept of using solid propellants to stimulate oil and gas wells is not entirely new, the GasGun incorporates a vastly improved design with progressively burning propellants that have been proven by independent research to be many times more effective in creating fractures and increasing formation permeability.
Independent research at Sandia National Laboratories demonstrated how the GasGun produces multiple fracturing. The tests were conducted in a tunnel complex at the Nevada Test Site, and direct observations of the fracturing were made by mining out the borehole after stimulation.