By September 21, 2015 Read More →

New magnesium down-hole fracking tools that dissolve promise to lower costs

High interest in magnesium products from tool makers, service companies says British manufacturer

Down-hole fracking tools made of magnesium that dissolves after use promise to save time and money for American oil producers, according to Magnesium Elektron.


Photo: Business Wire

SoluMag is a proprietary high-strength, soluble magnesium alloy developed specifically for making down-hole oil and gas industry fracking tools. The company has applied for a patent for the alloy.

Traditional fracking requires the removal of plugs, balls and other temporary tools that have served their purpose. Tools made from SoluMag dissolve completely after use, eliminating the need for costly intervention.

“SoluMag dissolves quickly, predictably and at lower temperatures than other soluble materials used in these applications,” said Guy Roberts, head of sales and marketing for Magnesium Elektron.

The first public showing of SoluMag took place at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, Canada, in June. A time-lapse video showed the material being dissolved in saline solution.

Also on display were samples at various levels of dissolution, as well as test data covering strength and corrosion rates. This generated a high level of interest from completion companies and tool suppliers and led to initial product sales for laboratory and field testing, says Roberts.

Magnesium Elektron says it has since introduced further product improvements, including the ability to customize rates at which the alloy dissolves.

Founded in 1936, Magnesium Elektron specializes in developing, manufacturing and supplying magnesium products has offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Roberts says the company is particularly known for its wide range of high-performance aerospace alloys, including Elektron® 43, which was recently approved for use in civilian aircraft seats.

“Our aerospace pedigree means that our alloys are of the highest quality and consistency, so end-users can be confident that tools made from SoluMag will behave predictably down-hole,” he said.

SoluMag products will next be shown at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Houston, Texas, September 28-30, 2015.

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