Independence Oilfield Chemicals LLC (IOC) said it has developed a fluid for use in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations that has a lower chemical content.

IOC, which is based in The Woodlands, TX, announced Wednesday that the new product is part of their Cooperative Flow Back (CoFlo) initiative and has an ultra-low polymer concentration. The company said CoFlo includes its VisLink-100 crosslinking system, which it claims is the industry's first to combine the advantages derived from slickwater with guar-based systems in fracking operations.

"We're keenly interested in working with clients to co-develop products that significantly reduce chemical content while enhancing production results," said Jeff Dawson, IOC's senior vice president for applied technologies. "VisLink delivers a more efficient crosslinking system, one that focuses on elasticity to provide proppant transport while lowering guar loadings to decrease polymer damage."

According to IOC, slickwater was introduced as a less-expensive option for well stimulation in the early 2000s. Today, fracturing operations are performed with a hybrid combination of slickwater and guar to improve proppant transport. IOC said VisLink-100 combines the benefits of both stimulation options.

"We are helping clients obtain superior results because we put production first when developing fluid designs," said CEO Jeff Hibbeler. "[The] bottom line [is] VisLink will place proppant using less chemical, less damage, and less cost. Sometimes 'less is more,' and this is an example. We view chemical optimization our main goal."