US oilfield services company ProFrac has defeated fellow US oil company Halliburton in a US federal court after the latter accused it of violating its patent.
Haliburton believed that ProFrac’s “Clean Fleet” fracking technology had infringed on its electric fracking (E-Frac) patents.
However, the jury at the trial in Waco, Texas, agreed with ProFrac that Clean Fleet functioned in a different manner to Halliburton’s patented electric fracking technology.
Tom Melsheimer, an attorney representing US Well Services, stated to the jury that US Well Services “did things our way and didn’t need any Halliburton technology”.
Electric fracking utilises electricity from natural gas or electric power grids in powering its fracking, as opposed to the burning of diesel fuel, to reduce fracking emissions.
US Well Services, which was acquired by ProFrac in June 2022, brought the initial lawsuit against Halliburton over its own electric fracking patents, which soon after were declared invalid by the US Patent Office.
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As a result of this countersuit that Halliburton brought against US Well Services and ProFrac, the court declared that two of Haliburton’s three own E-Frac patents were invalid as well. Halliburton still has two more E-Frac patent lawsuits against US Well Services that are set to go to trial in Waco in 2024.
ProFrac has stated that its Clean Fleet E-Frac technology can reduce CO₂ equivalent emissions from fracking by as much as 60% and nitrogen oxide (NOₓ) emissions by up to 89% when excess gas is flared. CO₂ equivalent emissions reduction is 29% when excess gas is not being flared, however, NOₓ reductions remain the same.
Halliburton’s Zeus E-Frac pumping unit is the first fracking pumping unit capable of “sustaining” 5,000 hydraulic horsepower, at the same time reducing emissions by 34% compared to traditional fracking fleets.
The company is the largest oil well fracking innovator in the world, with more total patents for fracking technology filed between 2010 and 2021 than any other.