In this month’s Business Intelligence insight, we look at what effect lower oil prices could have on the fracking industry.

With oil prices at a five year low, traditional methods of hydraulic fracking are fast becoming uneconomical. This is good news for our industry, as fracking firms look to boost productivity in order to absorb the hit taken by the lower price of oil.

Could waterless fracking be the answer? Studies carried out by various companies have concluded that fracking with liquid carbon dioxide improves the productivity of a well, and also eliminates the negative environmental impact caused by the unsustainable use of water in hydraulic fracking.

Companies such as General Electric are investing heavily into research projects that are exploring various means of providing the infrastructure needed to support waterless fracking.  Of the major industrial gas companies, Praxair are currently at the forefront of the waterless fracking revolution, and have recently rolled out their new offering to fracking firms: DryFracTM.

“Our DryFrac system is a game-changer for the industry,” said Tony Wallace, Vice President, Energy Services at Praxair. “Through our state-of-the-art technology and extensive carbon dioxide supply chain, we provide an alternative to water-intensive fracturing. Praxair’s innovative waterless fracturing technology is yet another example of our commitment to helping our customers be more productive and sustainable.”