Guar Gum Powder in the Oil and Gas Industry

Guar gum— a white powder derived from guar beans—is widely used to recover oil and gas rom geological formations. Hydraulic fracturing is also known as fracture stimulation,  is a technique used to enhance the extraction of  oil and natural gas trapped deep within the earth’s crust, especially in shale rock formations.

Grown and harvested primarily  in India and Pakistan, the guar plant’s beans are de-husked, milled and screened into a powder that quickly converts water into a thickening gel. It has been cultivated for centuries in these countries and surrounding regions as an agent to thicken sauces in various recipes. It is also used in processed foods such as ice cream and ketchup.

In the Oil and Gas Industry, guar gum has been adopted for use by Petrochemical companies for its thickening properties. These properties are used in drilling applications where high viscosity water is needed to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock formations. A large amount of guar slurry is needed by drilling companies for each stage of the hydraulic fracturing process.

The demand for guar gum has now shifted the agriculture of guar. Although 80% of the world’s guar supply has been historically grown in India and Pakistan, farmers in Oklahoma, Texas, and a number of other states have now begun planting guar crops to meet the high demand.

Guar gum is used o thicken water that is pumped down to subsurface rock formations that are impermeable to fluids. Adding guar gum increases the fluids’ viscosity and greatly increases the efficiency of high pressure pumping and the fracturing process.

Typically, sand is mixed into the water to help hold open the fractures  which tend to close. Frac sand  —the most common type of “proppant,”  — helps maintain the open fractures and improves the flow of gas and oil to the surface.

Continental Chemical USA is one of North America’s leading distributors of the essential chemical products needed in the Oil and Gas Industry. Please contact us today to discuss how we can help you with all of your chemical needs.

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