Eagle Ford Well Fracked with Propane

This Is the Second LPG Frack In the Eagle Ford
Frio County Eagle Ford Shale Map

Frio County, TX

A recently drilled Eagle Ford well was completed with a propane frack. eCorp Stimulation Technologies successfully stimulated an Eagle Ford well at 5,950 ft in Frio County, TX. The completion is part of the company’s efforts to minimize water usage in well completions. The test was done in December 2012 just south of Pearsall, TX. Pure liquid propane was used, with no chemicals or additives

The company is touting the well as a “success”, but we’ll have to watch flow rates to see if the well is successful from an economic standpoint.

Dr. John Thrash , eCORP’s CEO and Chairman, stated, “We are extremely pleased with what we have confirmed with this procedure. We believe there is a certain path for sustainable shale gas development and this demonstration proves a viable “green” alternative exists for stimulating shale. We intend to extend this design philosophy and demonstrate that a total reduced impact can be achieved through other innovations in drilling and exploration technologies we are developing at eCORP.”

LPGĀ  fracks will be interesting to watch across the shale plays. Using fluids native to the formation seems logical, but they’re also much more expensive than water. This isn’t the first well in the Eagle Ford completed in this fashion – Jadel Oil completed a well with an LPG frack in Maverick County back in 2011. Blackbrush Energy also has an exclusive agreement with Gasfrac Energy Services to complete its wells with LPGs through mid-2014.

You can read the full press release issued by the company at prnewswire.com

If you have experience completing wells with LPGs or know the API numbers for these wells, please share in the comment section below.

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R.T. Dukes

R.T. Dukes

Managing Editor at EagleFordShale.com
R.T. is the managing editor of EagleFordShale.com. In prior roles, he advised major oil companies on strategy, the macro business environment, and opportunity screening. 2503 Robinhood, Houston, TX, 77005, U.S.A. | Telephone: 832.429.4790


  1. I was told that they gel the propane with crosslinkers..and that proppant can be held in suspension to be delivered properly. I would assume the flowback is cleaned and used on the next well??

    • R.T. Dukes RT Dukes says:


      You are right, the propane is actually in a gel form when it is used in completions. I’m not sure how much stays that way and if it flows back in a gel form.

      I have not heard those involved discuss reusing the propane. Effectively, it will be produced in the well and need to be separated at some point. That would be very expensive to do on site.

  2. Joe Manak says:

    Well worth watching!

  3. Robert Kunicki says:

    Can anyone tell me why they think this would work better than energized fluids using CO2 and N2?

  4. Brian Blackwell says:

    Going to be interesting to see how this technology plays out! Definitely makes alot of sense with the water shortage!

    Brian Blackwell, President
    Up N In Investments, LLC

  5. Mike King says:

    There is a Company from Canada with offices in Kilgore, TX who have been fracking in the Dimmit County EFS area with propane during 2012. The company is called GasFrac Energy Services. You might contact them for more information as this is not a new technology for them, but what they have been doing for a long time north of the border, as I understand it. I know talking to the Southern Region Operations Manager about it in late 2012, he indicated the safeguards that are built into their system makes it virtually safer than traditional fracking systems. I am not an expert, but with the water shortages and the abundance of propane, this made a lot of sense given the large scale fracking operations that are planned across the EFS over the next 10 years.

  6. Mark E. Marek says:

    RT –

    Nice work on reporting of this technology development…..with the water problems of traditional hydraulic fracking this is a development I had not heard of previously….one of my questions about this technology is the risks that are introduced with propane as the frac fluid instead of water…..water is not combustible, propane is????

    Mark E. Marek
    Gonzales & Associates, CPAs
    San Antonio, Texas

    • Melvin Reams says:

      The propane is combustible if air/O2 is present in the fracking process. With traditional hydraulic fracking all pipeing connections are sealed to prevent water leaks from surface to down hole perfs.

      With LNG the hydralic fracking liquid is sealed from surface to the oil or gas formation and no air is present to support combustion.

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