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Step Energy scraps waterless fracking for now

When GasFrac began testing their waterless fracking technique in Ohio, the prospect of using less water appealed to developers and environmentalists alike– rather than using millions of gallons of water for hydraulic fracturing, GasFrac’s method used a propane gel to fracture the earth.

But Ohio Energy Inc. reports developers of the once-innovative process recently sacked plans for further development after testing yielded disappointing results.

“The technology piece, the propane fracking, I like it,” said Regan Davis, CEO Step Energy Services, which now owns GasFrac. “I think it’s a technology that has a place in the market. But for our purposes, we decided that we weren’t going to be in that business, so we mothballed that whole segment.”

GasFrac hoped to open access to the Utica shale play’s oil supply, development for which Energy Inc. writes is relatively young compared to Ohio’s gas industry.

Despite the lackluster results from waterless fracking testing periods, Davis said other companies seem interested in rekindling waterless fracking efforts elsewhere.

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