Formation fracturing

A method of stimulating production by opening new flow channels in the rock surrounding a production well. Often called a frac job. Under extremely high hydraulic pressure, a fluid (such as distillate, diesel fuel, crude oil, dilute hydrochloric acid, water, or kerosene) is pumped downward through production tubing or drill pipe and forced out below a packer or between two packers. The pressure causes cracks to open in the formation, and the fluid penetrates the formation through the cracks. Sand grains, aluminum pellets, walnut shells, or similar materials (propping agents) are carried in suspension by the fluid into the cracks. When the pressure is released at the surface, the fracturing fluid returns to the well. The cracks partially close on the pellets, leaving channels for oil to flow around them to the well. See explosive fracturing, hydraulic fracturing.