Manufacture of Nitroglycerin and Use of High Explosives in Oil and Gas Wells
- C.O. Rison (Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1929
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 240 - 312
- 1929. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 2.2.2 Perforating, 4.6 Natural Gas, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 4.3.4 Scale, 3.1.6 Gas Lift, 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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High explosives, particularly nitroglycerin, have been used in torpedoes forthe purpose of shooting oil and gas wells for more than 60 years. The earlyhistory of the oil industry in Pennsylvania is not clear as to who actuallytorpedoed the first well, although in 1865 the Roberts Torpedo Co. procured apatent covering the process. Gunpowder was first used, although nitroglycerinwas substituted shortly afterwards.
Wells are shot for the purpose of increasing the flow of oil and gas. Ashot-hole in the producing horizon, with its contributory fissures andfractures, increases the area of and stimulates drainage into the hole. Theshot-hole also acts as a collecting basin from which the oil is pumped. As arule, hard or close-grained sands or limes are shot, other more or less porousand soft formations usually do not require shooting, and might be injured byblasting. Shooting is also resorted to in mechanical trouble such asstraightening crooked holes, sidetracking pipe or tools, and for severingfrozen strings of casing or drill pipe. Explosives are also used sometimes toextinguish oil or gas-well fires although that work, which involves unusualconditions and methods, does not properly come within the classification ofoil-well shooting.
Some Factors To Be Considered In Shooting Wells
Although nitroglycerin has been used extensively for more than half a centuryin shooting oil and gas wells, there is still a great deal of uncertainty as tothe proper method of shooting or the amount of explosive required to producebest results in a particular formation. The possibility of shootingunproductive or cavey formations above or below the productive horizons,shooting into lower water, destroying casing seats, and the splitting orcollapsing of casing strings, are factors that require consideration.
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