Fracking processes have taken a giant leap forward in with Radio frequency heating technology. The use of a downhole di-pole antenna array provides the necessary localized equipment for specific RF heating of shale oil deposits. Although the technology is vastly more efficient, it still requires the use of propane and other chemical agents in the extraction process. Reduction in the cost associated with steam generation and water required may be the only improvement in an extremely toxic process.
RF heating isn’t a new process by any means. In fact, the process has been used for many years by Raytheon in the study of the Ionosphere while running the operation at HAARP. More recently, Raytheon has invested in this technology for commercial applications in the oil field industry.
“HeatWave RF Heating ESEIEH Process”
“Raytheon, a major American defense company with headquarters in Waltham of Massachusetts, in partnership with CF Technologies, a company focused in the Critical Fluid Processes with headquarters in Hyde Park of Massachusetts, have developed a new technology that combines radio frequency waves with super-critical fluids in order to process the oil trapped deep in shale formation. This technology was later acquired from Schlumberger; the world’s largest oilfield services company with headquarters in Houston, Texas. ”
“~Process of Radio Frequency (RF) Heating of Oil Shale (RF-CF technique)~ The innovative microwave heating technology implements radio frequency heating for shale oil processing. These radio frequency waves are transmitted into the core molecule of oil shale and changed to heat energy. Using only RF transmission and no direct heat conduction, all the molecules are heated in the same from inwards as well as outwards. Microwave absorbing materials are added in order to increase oil’s the absorbance of the electromagnetic waves. Such materials help the bituminous matter of the oil shale to reach a thermal degradation state that is necessary for it to be fractured into gas and oil. The oil and gas produced is then retrieved through wells up to the surface.”
The use of RF heating technology brings in to question whether recent earthquake swarms are the produce of this new application. Earthquake swarms have been widely recorded near fracking locations and on the increase in recent years.
“From 1970 through 2000, the found an average of 21 magnitude 3 or greater earthquake events per year in this area. This rate increased to 29 from 2001 through 2008. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, they say, 50, 87 and 134 events occurred, respectively.”
“The acceleration in activity that began in 2009 appears to involve a combination of source regions of oil and gas production, including the Guy, Arkansas region, and in central and southern Oklahoma,” they wrote. In Oklahoma, alone, the rate of magnitude 3 or greater events abruptly increased in 2009 from 1.2 per year in the previous half-century to more than 25 per year.”
The technology to produce localized EQs via RF heating for fracking isn’t new. In fact, many have speculated that Ionospheric heaters can produce the same effect on a grander scale. Providing the coupling mechanism for atmospheric disturbances reported prior to several large EQ events in recent years.
“They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicenter, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck. At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicenter, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up. These kinds of observations are consistent with an idea called the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling mechanism.”
In addition to downhole RF heating operations,oil exploration companies also have a considerable amount of bandwidth.
“Mining and in situ processes use hot water or steam to separate bitumen from the sands, requiring both water and energy. These two key factors affect environmental performance and associated capital and operating costs in oil sands development.
However, the technology could also be applied to a wide array of heavy oil plays in Canada and the United States, allowing oil and gas companies to produce oil remaining in wells considered depleted.
Harris also provides the radio emergency response system for the Alberta province, and provides communications services to the oil and gas industry through Harris Caprock Communications. Harris Caprock is the second largest consumer of satellite bandwidth after the U.S. government; much of that bandwidth is used by oil and gas producers.”