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COVID-19 has taken a toll on U.S. shale operators. A low-cost treatment, nanoActiv HNP powered by Messer, for horizontal wells, can help them rebound.

According to CNN, oil and gases prices are rising in the U.S., though the end of the glut remains unclear. Indeed the immediate future is not rosy for U.S shale operators, and capital spending plans continue to roll back. Yet getting beyond the COVID-19 crisis ultimately means generating positive free cash flow. The only question is how.

The bottom-line question shale operators should ask now is:

“What is the solution for improving well production at the lowest unit cost with the least capital expenditure (CapEx) and the quickest payback?”

Of course, market conditions will need to change to further improve commodity pricing, but there is a new technology solution that provides the lowest cost per unit of production today. When U.S. shale operators are ready, this new solution can provide incremental production gains from existing wells with unit costs one-half to one-sixteenth and CapEx from one-fortieth to one-quarter of current methods. This means an operator can improve production with significantly less risk of capital with a significantly lower cost to produce, providing a payback in significantly less time.

What is it? The answer is simple: nanoActiv® HnP powered by Messer – a synergistic “Huff ‘n’ Puff” application of nanoparticles and gas.

The Boost EOR™ Enhanced Oil Recovery Solution for Shale Operators

nanoActiv®* HnP powered by Messer is our newest Boost-EOR™ enhanced recovery solution. This proprietary technology is the result of joint efforts exploring synergistic combinations of these special nanoparticles with injections of Messer CO2 or N2 to boost downhole oil and gas well performance. 

nanoActiv® solutions use inorganic nano-sized particles in a colloidal particle dispersion, harnessing their power to penetrate porous media. The nanoActiv® particles form a Brownian-motion, diffusion-driven mechanism known as disjoining pressure -- greatly facilitating and accelerating the mobility of gas, oil, and water, or mixtures.

Look at how nanoActiv® HnP numbers stack up to traditional production improvement methods for a horizontal well:


CapEx, MM

(Unit Cost)

Payback (varies by NRI)

No. of Wells (Equivalent CapEx)

New Drilling & Completion


$49 avg.

540-730 days


Re-frac (limited)



365-540 days


NG HNP (limited)



365 days


nanoActiv® HnP


<$3/BOE or


<100 days



As you can see, nanoActiv® HnP, powered by Messer, offers the best bang-for-your-buck solution. It is far better than new drilling and completion, better than a limited re-frac, and even about four times lower CapEx than natural gas HnP. 

That means those U.S. shale operators who start moving in this direction now will be in an ideal position to rebound quickly -- and to profit as oil and gas markets regain their strength.

The first step is to identify and rank wells that are most likely to benefit. The technology can be effective in most types of rock formations and applied in many types of situations. But every well and every situation is unique, so experience is essential to determine the best formula and activation sequence to help maximize returns.

For more information about the Boost-EOR solution, download our whitepaper or contact Messer 800-755-9277.

* nanoActiv® is a registered trademark of Nissan Chemical America Corporation, Houston, Texas.


Messer makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the subject matter, the completeness, or accuracy of this blog. Messer is not responsible for any actions (or lack thereof) taken as a result of relying on or in any way using information contained in this blog. In no event shall Messer be liable for any damages resulting from reliance on or use of information in this blog. Readers should take advice from a qualified professional when dealing with specific situations. Descriptions of, or references or access to, other publications within this blog do not imply endorsement of those publications. This blog may contain technical inaccuracies and changes to the information may be made at any time.

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