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Thermochemically Driven Gas Dynamic Fracturing(TDGF) Technology
Project Number

The Thermochemically Driven Gas Dynamic Fracturing (TDGF) technology is an effort to dramatically improve on the current technology of hydraulic fracturing by combining the fracturing capabilities of the latter with the benefits of thermally heating the well. This is achieved by pumping a large volume of gas and liquid chemical reagents into a formation, warming the formation via high-pressure combustion, and increasing oil production.


More Oil Inc., Houston, TX 
Promitey Chemical Automation Design, Russia


The goal of the project is to build, test, and field demonstrate the TDGF technology on a sample of oil wells. In the course of a TDGF treatment, high-temperature foaming agents produced by a liquid-phase reaction are injected into a pay zone instead of an inert fluid.

The documented increase in the permeability of formations treated with the gases released by reaction of the chemicals in the proposed technology suggests that the final thermochemical benefit is due to a drastic increase in the amount of hot gas introduced into the pay. As a result, the well bore can be heated to remove the heaviest fractions accumulated around the wellbore.

The diagnostic generator will be used during the project year to examine the regime of reaction of binary mixtures including amine nitrates, hydrazine nitrate, urotropin, and other compounds. The effect of reaction products on rock and oil samples taken from the oilfields selected for demonstration of the technology will also be examined.

Periodic heating of the low-permeability zone near wellbore area will be investigated. The scheme will be used as a basis for increasing the treatment effectiveness to a level comparable to that of hydrofracturing.


This technology offers:

  • An effective and cheaper process to stimulate oil and gas wells.
  • A new means to heat heavy oil wells.
  • Potential for recovery of ultra heavy crude.
  • An expected operational depth as great as 10,000 feet.

TDGF is a multistage treatment comprised of a:

  • Vibration-treatment stage, which entails fracturing driven by vibration combustion.
  • Pulse-treatment stage, which involves expanding cracks caused by the gas produced in a continuing combustion reaction.
  • Cyclic-treatment stage, which causes further expansion by high-temperature gas agents.

The diagnostic gas generator and automatic diesel fuel supply system will be constructed under subcontracts with several Russian companies. The final system is planned for field tests in U.S. wells.

Current Status

The project has beeen completed. The final report is available below under "Additional Information".

Project Start
Project End
DOE Contribution


Performer Contribution

$166,817 (20% of total)

Contact Information

NETL – Gary Covatch ( or 304-285-4589)
More Oil – Michael Goodwin ( or 832/ 495-1373)

Additional Information

Final Project Report [PDF-2.00MB]

Schematic of TDGF tool
Schematic of TDGF tool