PulseFrac – Formation Stress Testing using Acoustic Shockwaves


The innovation behind all of qWave’s tools and services is a shockwave generator system, the “qWave Pulser”, adapted to generate series of repeatable focused acoustic shockwaves for gradual generation of fractures/perforations in a wellbore wall, to improve existing perforations, initiate micro-fracs or removal of scale – without the need for any mechanical/rotating equipment or explosives.

The innovation is based on the same techniques as has been used in medicine for treatment of kidney stones for almost 40 years, utilizing electro source principles for generating series of repeatable focused acoustic shockwaves for gradual degeneration of the kidney stone.

The “qWave Pulser” mainly comprise a high voltage pulse generator, a shockwave generator source (e.g. electrohydraulic, piezoelectric or electromagnetic) and an acoustic shockwave focusing member (e.g. plane source, elliptic or parabolic shaped reflector), and will collectively form an integral platform in all of qWave tools.

The peak pressure within the focus area of the focused shockwave may be in the order of 10’s to 100’s MPa, hence, when repeated, holding enough energy to degenerate the toughest of materials.

PulseFrac Tool

Our first tool utilizes the qWave core technology for Micro-Frac Wireline operations. A pulse generator module inside the tool generates voltages up to 30,000 volts which creates a focused shock waves when released inside a reflector module . These shock waves are focused on a point at the target rock, generating initial formation fractures – the “qWave Perforation”

These initial formation fractures help in propagating hydraulic frac pressure beyond the near wellbore stresses which brings down the initial formation breakdown pressure, and hence achieving micro frac with more ease. The tool also contains a slow bleed off system which is used for determining fracture closure pressure in tight or impermeable formations.

PulseFrac Tool images