Something new from Russia may make fracking superfluous.
Unlike hydraulic fracturing, Plasma Pulse Technology doesn’t use chemicals, water or pressurization. PPT uses vibrations, or electrically generated plasma impulses to reduce viscosity, increase permeability and improve flow of oil and gas to the surface for extraction.
There is a small tubular device on the end of a long wire that is lowered into an oil well shaft to as deep as 12,000 feet. Once a computer triggers the device, it sends a microsecond burst of heat horizontally up to about three-quarters of a mile that loosens oil from its surrounding rock. The energy needed to do this is about the same amount used by a hair dryer
Some oil and gas companies have tested PPT in injector wells in the Monterey Formation in Bakersfield California and in producing wells in Los Angeles.