High Explosives are applicable when truth and logic fail.--Anonymous
"Shooting" has been used to stimulate oil wells for over 100 years. Liquid Nitroglycerin (LNG) has always been a favored explosive for well shooting. LNG was poured into metal canisters called "torpedoes" and lowered into the well. But there is no longer a domestic supply of LNG available to the oil patch since the Otto Cupler Torpedo Company plant exploded in 1978, followed by the Independent Explosives LNG plant in 1989; the last of the LNG was shot in 1991. See A Brief History of Well Shooting for additional historical background material.
Other explosives can be used to shoot wells, but another problem is a lack of qualified "shooters". One of the last of this breed is Rick Tallini, (419) 578-9644. Rick is president of Otto Cupler Torpedo, a company that traces its history back to the very beginnings of the industry. Well shooting is of particular importance as a stimulation technology in the very shallow parts of the oil patch where hydraulic fracturing often fails to perform dependably.
Here are a few well shooting options:
High Explosives, including oil well explosive gels (OWE), other NG dynamites, water gel slurries, emulsions, ANFO, cast explosives, etc. There are countless variations in procedure with countless opinions on which is best. Small cast primer shots, often called block shots, are sometimes used in an attempt to rejuvenate old wells.
Propellant Type HEGF Devices, sometimes called rocket fuel shots or gun propellant shots. These devices utilize propellants that deflagrate rather than explode. One version of the technology incorporates shaped charge perforators and the propellant in the same "gun".
Tallini ShotTM, a relatively new technology that can be characterized as incorporating the best elements of high explosive shots and propellant stimulation.
Perforation Only, utilizing the newer deep penetrating shaped charges (some of these perforators are capable of penetration in excess of four feet). There have been a few recent reports of good results in new shallow open hole completions and for old well rejuvenation.
JOJ SHOTTM, a relatively new process being investigated for well rejuvenation applications.