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Hydraulic Fracturing is Just One Piece of the Oil Drilling Puzzle

Chemstar has a long and storied history of working with the oil and natural gas drilling industry, dating back to 1965 when we first began providing extruded pre-gel corn products for oil drilling. However, when we mention our involvement with oil drilling to customers and prospects outside of the oil industry, or friends and relatives in a social setting, one of the first questions we get asked is if we’re involved in the activity currently taking place in areas such as North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

The short answer is no. Those regions require hydraulic fracking, commonly referred to as fracking, and our products aren’t a fit for that process. The longer story is that fracking is just one component of the world’s oil drilling activity.

It’s understandable why people make the connection to the Bakken Oilfield efforts in North Dakota, particularly with it getting so much publicity in Minnesota, where Chemstar is headquartered. In fact, if you only paid attention to the news headlines, you would think fracking was the main type of oil and gas drilling activity in the U.S. In reality, many experts estimate that only about 29 percent of U.S. oil production today comes from tight oil formations that require hydraulic fracking.

Many are surprised to learn that 25% of the world’s oil rigs are in Texas. Chemstar has strong relationships with companies in West Texas and does a lot of with them. But Chemstar participates in all oil-producing regions of the world and thrives wherever specialty drilling operations are found. We have developed custom starch-based solutions to overcome drilling challenges in nearly every corner of the globe, including Canada, Norway, West Africa, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia and Russia, just to name a few.

Chemstar is regularly challenged to develop custom water-based drilling solutions to achieve production goals and meet environmental regulations. If you are interested, you can read more about some of our more interesting projects, including how we helped prove water-based drilling fluids work for horizontal drilling in Norway, how we helped solve the Microtox Standards challenge in Canada and how we adapted water-based drilling systems for the Rocky Mountains. So while fracking is an important technique to the drilling industry, there are many fascinating and complex drilling operations around the world.