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Well Stimulation Technologies


Well stimulation technologies use mechanical or chemical methods to artificially create channels that facilitate the flow of fluids in order to extract economically viable quantities of crude oil and natural gas from formations with low flow characteristics, such as shale (tight) formations.

JAPEX is studying well stimulation technologies to produce oil and natural gas from promising shale formations (tight formations) in Japan. We are also studying overseas oil and natural gas development and production and carbon neutral business projects using the technologies.

Types of Well Stimulation Technologies

The mechanical method is called "fracturing," and the chemical method is called "acidizing." The technology to be applied depends on the characteristics of the shale formations (tight formations). For example, the US shale development effectively uses a combination of horizontal wells and multistage hydraulic fracturing.


Fracturing is a technology that involves pumping a large volume of water from a well into a shale formation (tight formation) at once, causing formation fracturing. Geological fracturing forms cracks in solid rocks and extracts the oil and natural gas contained in the rocks.

Continuous injection operation expands the geological fracture area. Cracks formed by geological fractures are filled with a supporting material called proppant to prevent the cracks from closing during oil and gas production.

Major Achievements

  • 2014: Conducted Japan's first "multistage fracturing demonstration test in a horizontal well" at the Fukumezawa oil field in Akita Prefecture


Injection pumps used in the Fukumezawa oil field demonstration test


Fracturing work conducted in the Fukumezawa oil field demonstration test


The hard rock (shale) forming the shale formation (tight formation) also has some areas where natural cracks have developed, but they may have become clogged with minerals over the years.

Acidizing is a method of extracting oil and natural gas by injecting acid into specific minerals that are easily dissolved by acid and form channels after dissolution.

JAPEX is studying and conducting demonstration tests of acidizing, targeting the Onagawa tight formation in Akita Prefecture. The carbonate mineral veins developed in the siliceous shale in the Onagawa tight formation are easily dissolved by acid and are assumed to function effectively as a flow channel for oil and natural gas after dissolution.

Major Achievements

  • 2012: Successfully achieved economically viable crude oil production through a demonstration test of acidizing of the Onagawa tight formation at the Ayukawa oil and gas field in Akita Prefecture
  • 2020: Conducted pre-production test in the Onagawa tight formation to confirm crude oil production for the next demonstration test aimed at optimizing the technology


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