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Hydrofracturing | Jetting (water/air) | Frac-Packers™ | Tools

   Hydrofracturing is a water well development/rehabilitation method used to increase the yields of low-production water wells completed in rock where the fracture/joint systems are so poorly developed or so tight that little or no water can move through them.
 Hydrofracturing of water wells has been used in the USA since about the late 1980s on a wide spread basis. The primary application has been in 6 inch water wells of 250 to 600 feet deep (75 to 180 meters). These wells


Wells can become plugged by natural sediments

are primarily for domestic use with some applications in 8" & 10" wells for commercial, industrial and municipal uses. The most common geology found in wells that are hydrofractured, is basement igneous type rocks such as gabbros, granites, schists, etc. There are some areas where shales and slates predominate as well as others with limestone and sandstone. Most "fracturing" occurs between 1,000 to 2,500 psi in hard rocks and 300 to 800 psi in softer rocks. The most common pumping flow rates are between 65 and 120 gallons per minute. Propants to keep fractures open; such as sand, glass beads, etc., were experimented with early on in development but now are seldom used because of their uncertain benefit, if any.
   The areas in the United States where this method of well regeneration is used the greatest include the upper 1/3 of the country and scattered mountain areas throughout the states. Around the world, this
equipment and these methods are being sucessfully applied in India, Africa, South Korea, New Zealand and parts of the Far East. In the US, the success rate is generally acknowledged to be 95% where the production of the well has been at least doubled. Four to five times of the original production is quite common with some spectacular results in the neighborhood of 50 times the original production. There is no clear pattern of success however, and the results can often times be confusing. This is becasue of the lack of direct correlation between fracture pressures and production, fracture pump flow rates and production, and the results from encountering nearly identical conditions with vastly different results.

Water Jetting


   Hydrofracturing is accomplished by lowering a borehole packer into a water well and expanding it ("setting") below the casing depth/static level and above the fracture/joint system. This isolates the potential production zone from the rest of the well. Water is then pumped down through the water injection pipe at high-pressure and high-volume simultaneously. The pressure and flow created in the production zone usually causes small, tight fractures/joints in the rock to open up and spread radially. The newly opened and flushed out fractures provide connections between nearby water-bearing fractures and the borehole.
The same equipment that provides hydrofracturing capability, can also

provide "screened" well development, clean-out, and redevelopment with the addition of more tooling. High pressure jetting devices, with interchangeable SS nozzle inserts to match your pump, can be very usefull in all drilling operations - for both new wells and reworks. It is also a good practice to clean the walls of the borehole before any hydrofracturing is performed on the well so that any loose material such as sediments, rock flour, bio-fouling, drill cuttings or mineral deposits can be dislodged and then pumped out of the well. This method is highly effective in making hydrofracturing more successfull by removing debris that may block the effectivness of the injection of high-pressure, high-volume water.
   Hydrofracturing has proven higly effective at increasing water production, increasing water storage, improving reliability and reducing suspended sediment in water wells. Success rates, as measures by yield improvements of at least 100%, have averaged between 70% to 95% around the world, depending on geology, water pumped, well construction and experience of operator.