Waterless Fracking Innovations Help the Bottom Line: Meet RocketFrac Cleantech

Waterless Fracking Innovations Help the Bottom Line: Meet RocketFrac Cleantech

Waterless Fracking Innovations Help the Bottom Line: Meet RocketFrac Cleantech
How Going Green Can Keep More Money In Your Pocket

How Going Green Can Keep More Money In Your Pocket

·4 min read

From carbon capture to clean hydrogen, an increasing number of consumers and businesses are adopting products and practices that help them go green and reduce their impact on the earth.

While making an effort to help the planet is certainly worthwhile, companies can sometimes be reluctant due to concerns over how such initiatives could negatively impact their bottom lines. In reality, however, going green can actually have net-positive on your finances.

Appealing to consumers

A recently released report from Compose[d] and MaCher found that 94 percent of adults in the United States believe that a more sustainable lifestyle is important.

Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed felt that companies have a responsibility to increase the sustainability of their services. Most telling, 47 percent of those surveyed reported being willing to pay more for sustainable products.

Clearly, sustainability efforts can become a powerful differentiating factor that greatly influences customers’ buying preferences. Consumers want to feel like where they choose to shop makes some sort of impact for good.

With appropriate messaging, sustainable efforts can ultimately increase sales and retention. As with any other cause-oriented action, the messaging must be authentic. Your brand must clearly demonstrate what it is doing to go green. Customers want to see actions, not words.

Reducing expenses

There are many expenses that go into running a business and, quite often, sustainability initiatives can help.

“Our use of waterless stimulation technology for oil and gas well development allows us to simultaneously unlock the reservoir, while also reducing carbon emissions,” says Tom Whalen, CEO of RocketFrac Services. “This improves revenue and profit potential from the oil or gas asset and even more so if it’s a stranded asset, as a result of hydraulic fracturing moratoriums.”

Adds Whalen: “Because our technology is energized right at the reservoir, there is minimal loss of energy in the process, plus the overall surface footprint of equipment and associated manpower is a fraction of that for conventional hydraulic fracturing operations.”

With some global jurisdictions imposing taxes on carbon, lower emissions processes reduce tax burdens on energy companies — those savings are then passed on to consumers, of course.

Another example comes from the world of solar energy. When businesses install solar panels to supply their facility’s power, they can greatly offset their grid dependence.

During the day, solar panels often produce an excess amount of energy, ensuring that even when businesses draw power from the grid at night, they ultimately consume roughly the same amount of energy as they produce. Excluding the cost of solar panels, this can almost entirely eliminate energy bills — a vital benefit when utility expenses are rising all across the country.

In the United States, businesses can obtain a 26 percent tax credit to offset the cost of installing a solar panel system and, by 2024, it will only be 10 percent. The sooner companies act, the greater the long-term impact on their bottom line will be.

Attracting talent

As research from Gallup explains, millennials and Gen Z aren’t just the age groups who are most likely to want greater meaning in their work.

They are also “highly worried about global warming, think it will pose a serious threat in their lifetime, believe it’s the result of human activity, and think news reports about it are accurate or underestimate the problem.”

Tellingly, a recent survey of 2,000 office employees conducted by Essity, revealed 51% of those polled became more eco-conscious while working from home and more than a third were disappointed their companies didn’t improve eco-friendly practices during the past two years of the pandemic.

Developing initiatives to help your company go green can greatly influence how job candidates perceive your organization. More importantly, it can shape how they feel once they start working for your business.

Workers who believe that their contribution is making a positive impact on the globe will be much happier and more productive. They will be more likely to stick with your business for the long run.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that green initiatives could improve employee productivity by as much as 16 percent. By embracing environmentalism, you can attract more qualified candidates and create greater motivation for them to give their best efforts.

Making a difference

When your company adopts appropriate environmentally-friendly practices, you can reduce your own carbon footprint and help limit negative outcomes.

From helping you take control of your expenses to fostering stronger connections with like-minded consumers and employees, businesses that choose to go green will set themselves up for a more prosperous future.

RocketFrac Cleantech Paves the Way for Clean Oil and Gas

RocketFrac Cleantech Paves the Way for Clean Oil and Gas

There is no denying that oil and gas are a fundamental part of our lives. From homes and hospitals to food, fuel and beyond, most of our material needs require hydrocarbons. Even electric cars and renewable fuel alternatives hailed as the future of energy depends on petroleum. Replacing fossil fuels entirely is not viable today or even in fifty years, so in the meantime, environmentalists are focused on making the process of producing them as sustainable as possible.

This philosophy has contributed to the development of a cleantech boom in oil and gas, of which energy service company RocketFrac Cleantech is a leading example. RocketFrac has created a new tool called EcoStim that represents a step-change in the controversial process of hydraulic fracking. Hydraulic fracking has been used for decades to increase the production of oil and gas reservoirs, but it also consumes enormous amounts of water and sand, creating significant carbon emissions and other environmental consequences in the process. RocketFrac’s EcoStim eliminates the added water and sand from the fracking process, dramatically reducing carbon emissions and helping move the industry toward the net-zero carbon emissions future that is the ultimate goal of the sector.

This means lower-carbon energy for the world and helps the industry meet energy needs from existing sources, as well as from new sources. The fracking industry has not just been criticized for its environmental footprint; it has been outright banned in some parts of the world, including parts of the United States. With the demand for energy growing, a solution to hydraulic fracking’s environmental impact is needed and welcome.

How RocketFrac Cleantech improves fracking

A traditional hydraulic fracturing operation injects three million gallons of water laced with sand and chemicals into a wellbore, pressuring it into the reservoir thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface, where it cracks the rock and lets hydrocarbons flow more freely. RocketFrac’s EcoStim technology replaces all of that water and sand with a small amount of solid rocket fuel that is ignited in the targeted section of the wellbore, sending shockwaves and high-pressure gasses into the formation and fracturing it. Rather than transporting millions of pounds of water and sand and all of the trucks and generators that are required to inject them into the reservoir, the RocketFrac team only needs to move dozens of pounds of rocket fuel. Similarly, the enormous diesel generators typically used to inject the fracking fluid into the well-bore at high pressure are no longer required. All of these changes help to lower the carbon footprint of RocketFrac’s EcoStim system.

Variations of gaseous fracking have been used before, but RocketFrac created a patent-pending isolation mechanism and, with its partner, Magellan Aerospace, developed a proprietary rocket fuel whose special properties help to increase the pressure directed into the formation.

How RocketFrac’s Cleantech benefits energy companies

RocketFrac’s technology is not only valued for its green credentials but because it generates fractures in a different way, creating alternative fracture paths in the reservoir compared to the standard approaches. Where a typical hydraulic fracture produces two fractures, RocketFrac’s EcoStim creates four to eight radial fractures and, in the process, cleans any obstructions from the perforations in the well casing, further enhancing the flow of oil and gas.

Energy companies increasingly recognize that there is a symbiotic relationship between the energy industry and the planet. People rely on energy companies to meet their needs in an energy-intensive world and the companies are dependent on the resources that the planet has to offer. The oil and gas sector cannot thrive without the planet thriving, so these companies are taking steps to minimize their impact while maximizing the important benefits of energy for all of us.

RocketFrac Cleantech is a leader in transforming the energy service sector to a lower carbon model to help move the energy industry toward a net-zero oil and gas future. The total solution to the problem may be years or even decades away, but startups such as RocketFrac are currently taking steps to help make cleaner oil and gas a reality today. Making these fundamental changes now is vital because it will pave the way for even bigger changes to come in the future.

Jack Teodore

Jack Teodore

Jack Teodore is a speaker and writer. He speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference.

Does Fracking Have a “Clean” Future?

Does Fracking Have a “Clean” Future?

Published: April 26, 2022 at 6:15 p.m. ET

 Market Watch

Apr 26, 2022 (Prodigy PressWire via COMTEX) — “Oil shock” is officially no longer a historical term. While consumers panic at the pump, their governments confront an old truth: a lack of domestic energy supply is an issue of both national and global security. Soaring costs for the development, production, transportation and refinement of crude oil are once again pumping up inflation and interest rates around the world, threatening a full economic recovery from the pandemic. Yet with enormous North American oil and gas reserves available, the major barrier to lowering energy costs is public perceptions around the environmental impact of oil and gas development. Fortunately, the oil and gas sector has been innovating to dramatically improve the environmental performance of the sector’s processes, like hydraulic fracturing.

 

ABUNDANT RESERVES, SCARCE SUPPLY

Canada has the third-largest oil reserves in the world, and its oil industry meets far higher environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards than almost any competing jurisdiction around the world. Although it is an ideal source of ethical supply for its own needs, as well as for export, domestic political barriers have stifled resource development, especially pipeline infrastructure. Unfortunately, for countries and consumers seeking cleaner oil options, this potential clean energy superpower actually imports oil from Saudi Arabia and other questionable suppliers, while the majority of its cleaner oil and gas industry has no direct access (aside from Newfoundland) to tide water.

In the United States, energy dependence is also a result of domestic politics. US voters are increasingly concerned about carbon emissions, so the political establishment lacks the will to drill domestic oil resources. To avoid partisan roadblocks on the path to energy independence, the earth’s largest and thirstiest economy needs to lower carbon emissions while increasing production.

But in the same way that electric vehicles (EVs) have disrupted internal combustion engines, innovative energy service companies are now using technology to disrupt energy production with lower emissions innovations.

ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION

A promising example of these innovators is RocketFrac, a Canadian energy services start-up that is using rocket fuel as part of its process to stimulate reservoir production. Well stimulation in tight rock formations is normally done by hydraulic fracturing (more commonly known as ‘fracking’), but RocketFrac has developed proprietary innovations that allow the company to eliminate the use of freshwater, sand, and other additives in the well stimulation process, getting the best of both worlds — stimulating production, but with fewer carbon emissions and lower environmental impact overall.

The Calgary-based company’s approach can help move energy-rich countries like the United States and Canada closer to energy independence by improving the environmental performance of well stimulation, addressing the concerns environmentalists have with conventional fracking’s carbon emissions, consumption of water, and risks of fracturing-induced earthquakes.

Specifically, the company is using a modest amount of solid rocket fuel as a propellant to create fractures in reservoirs. Deployed deeply within the earth, the rocket fuel replaces the millions of gallons of water and tons of sand used in conventional fracking. Side benefits include lower carbon emissions, water conservation, and a much smaller environmental footprint than traditional operations, which can employ dozens of people operating a fleet of trucks and other equipment.

“Conventional fracking actually has some environmental benefits in that it has reduced the footprint required for energy production,” says RocketFrac CEO Tom Whalen. “Through horizontal drilling techniques coupled with multi-stage fracking, a single well today can be 10-20 times more productive than one drilled 15-20 years ago. It’s like a night and day comparison — hugely more efficient and better for the environment. Our technology additionally lowers the operational footprint required for staging on an oil site, as less manpower and equipment is required. This significantly reduces carbon emissions, not to mention the absence of using fresh water and sand in the process.

While propellant has previously seen limited use in fracking, RocketFrac’s process is game-changing because the combination of its patent-pending tool and proprietary fuel blend can generate forces sufficient to replace millions of liters of water pumped over time at very high pressure. An added benefit Whalen mentions is that the gasses produced by the rocket fuel propellant process are already present naturally in the earth, and are not emitted into the atmosphere.

ENERGY TRANSFORMATION

Ultimately, Whalen expects RocketFrac’s well stimulation process to service important forms of “green” energy, like hydrogen, which can be manufactured from natural gas. While hydrocarbons — composed of hydrogen and carbon — have been portrayed as a negative by some environmentalists, he notes that their components are far from harmful when managed responsibly and at safe concentrations. Hydrogen, for example, can be used as a fuel that emits only water vapor, while carbon can be captured and used in manufacturing or construction; it can even be injected back into underground reservoirs rather than emitted into the atmosphere. When safely returned and stored in the earth, where they originally came from, greenhouse gasses from hydrocarbons do not affect the climate. In time, it will be possible for the entire oil and gas sector to be net-zero, or even net-negative, for carbon emissions, simply by deploying already proven technologies.

“Carbon capture helps with the transformation into a hydrogen economy, as producing hydrogen from natural gas leaves behind carbon dioxide, which still needs to be utilized or stored,” Whalen observes.

While RocketFrac’s CEO sees significant growth of EVs, led by government incentives, in densely-populated areas of the western world, he says that combusting oil and gas will be necessary for decades to come. However, even as the percentage of hydrocarbons used in transportation is projected to decline, other industries, like plastics manufacturing, should more than pick up that slack in order to make durable, long-life type products. The focus will, therefore, be on greater efficiency and reuse, and on honing innovative new technologies that reduce the environmental footprint of the sector we all depend on for things like tractors and fertilizer for agriculture, or life-saving plastics for medical applications.

Whalen believes that much of the technology already exists to accomplish zero emissions; it’s just not affordable enough yet for global adoption. Although, as with any new technology, cost reductions typically follow adoption rate and scale. RocketFrac expects to go public this year with an eye on making its innovative technology help lead a new industry standard and improving overall energy efficiencies, regardless of source.

After all, oil shocks may be temporary, but RocketFrac is betting that investors will see its technological progress as being part of the longer term solution.

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RocketFrac Technology Revolutionizes Oil & Gas Well Stimulation

RocketFrac Technology Revolutionizes Oil & Gas Well Stimulation