(Dow Jones Newswires), Nov. 22, 2011
Chevron said Tuesday it has tested propane as an agent for hydraulic fracturing of various shale gas wells in Colorado, a move that could potentially reduce the large amounts of water used to extract oil and natural gas.
"This fall, Chevron tested the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a fracturing agent in five natural gas wells in its Piceance Basin
Chevron's test comes at a time when hydraulic fracturing--a technique also known as "fracking"--has come under scrutiny from environmentalists and others who fear it poses a threat to public health through groundwater contamination and air pollution. It also
Fracking involves the high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals into a shale seam, causing the rock to shatter and releasing
Once the propane is used as a fracking agent it turns into a gas that leaves the well with the produced natural gas. Unlike water, propane
But the new waterless fracking method is still in its infancy, and its cost is higher than hydraulic fracturing, according to analysts.
Also, propane is flammable, and requires special equipment to reduce the risk of explosion, experts say.
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