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eCORP announces new shale gas extraction technology

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Oilfield Technology,

Light alkanes stimulation

eCORP Stimulation Technologies, LLC (ecorpStim), a subsidiary of eCORP International, LLC (eCORP), today announced plans to deliver a shale gas extraction technology which uses naturally occurring components in conventional and shale hydrocarbon production – a selection of low molecular weight alkanes or light alkanes[1] – that are usually referred to as 'baby oil' in common language.

These alkanes are non-flammable and completely safe: they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for human ingestion and exposure. They also have no adverse impacts on the environment: they are non-ozone depleting and have zero global warming potential.

With light alkanes stimulation (LAS), ecorpStim is going one step further in its constant search for health and environmental excellence in shale oil and gas extraction.

Patents are pending worldwide and ecorpStim is conducting further testing and experimentation of this technology in the United States in several basins this year.

Just like propane in pure propane stimulation (PPS) developed by ecorpStim, light alkanes are a component of natural hydrocarbon production from shales and conventional reservoirs. Thus, as they are already present in the reservoir, using them as the stimulation fluid does not damage the reservoir rock, and therefore should allow increased production from the well compared with traditional hydraulic fracturing. Likewise, light alkanes can also be self-supplied from the reservoir being stimulated. Lastly, they can be recycled through the reservoir and recovered for further use, in the same way as for propane and heptafluoropropane (as in ecorpStim’s NFP stimulation).

'Green' stimulation

Light alkanes stimulation (LAS) provides a greater flexibility (broad range of viscosity / density) which enables this new technology to be used in varied shale formations and operating conditions.

With light alkanes stimulation (LAS), pure propane stimulation (PPS) and non-flammable propane stimulation (NFP), ecorpStim is now able to provide a full range of 'green' stimulation systems using not a single drop of water and zero chemical additives, and which includes two non-flammable options.

Dr. John Thrash, eCORP’s CEO and Chairman, stated: 'Light alkanes stimulation represents our greatest enhancement to non-aqueous alternatives to stimulating a shale reservoir. With this innovation, we are reaching the highest level of health and environmental safety. Light alkanes are used in personal care, pharma, bakery, food or agriculture. They also have no impact whatsoever on the ozone layer or on climate change and are completely biodegradable.

The option of light alkanes stimulation marks a landmark development in the path for 'ecological' yet technically efficient and cost effective shale gas development. We intend to extend this design philosophy and demonstrate that we can achieve a dramatically reduced impact through the combination of our stimulation technologies with other innovations in drilling and exploration technologies that we are developing at eCORP.'

Edited from a press release by Louise Mulhall

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