DEFINITION of 'Acidizing'

A type of well stimulation treatment used to improve the permeability of reservoir rocks. Acidizing involves pumping acids into the well in order to dissolve the rock, which improves production by creating channels in the rock to allow oil and natural gas to reach the well. Acids can also be used to dissolve debris found in the well.


Acidizing is most often used in aging wells that are reaching the end of their productive lives. As a process it is designed to squeeze any additional oil deposits from the reservoir. Because acid can corrode metal used in the well, most acidizing chemicals are used alongside a mixture of water and other chemicals that can protect the well from the effects of powerful acids.

In oil and natural gas production, acidizing may be more appropriate than hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in some situations. Fracking creates channels in underground rock formations by blasting a mixture of water and chemicals at high pressures. Acidizing does not require the same high pressure, instead relying on the acid to dissolve permeable sediments. In shale deposits that are not uniformly arranged, such as those created in areas with substantial tectonic activity as in the state of California, acidizing may do a better job at unlocking deposits. In some situations both fracking and acidizing are used, a process called acid fracking.

The types and concentrations of acids used in acidizing are often not disclosed by production companies, though hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids have been known to be used. Because of this ambiguity it may be more difficult to understand the safety of the process, especially as it relates to groundwater. Acidizing remains less regulated than many other oil and natural gas production techniques, though several states, including California, have proposed legislation and regulations that could impact investors in exploration companies.


  1. Fracking

    Fracking is a slang term for hydraulic fracturing.
  2. Oil Shale

    A type of sedimentary rock composed chiefly of a combination ...
  3. Exploration & Production - E&P

    An exploration & production company is known to be in a specific ...
  4. Quick Assets

    Anything having commercial or exchange value that can easily ...
  5. Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio

    A mathematical ratio comparing the prices of crude oil and natural ...
  6. Classified Loan

    A classified loan is any bank loan that is in danger of default.
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    The Best Litmus Test Of A Company's Risk? The Acid Test

    The acid test measures a company’s short-term liquidity.
  2. Investing

    Fracking Can't Happen Without These Companies

    With all the attention paid to fracking, what is are the good investment opportunities? Are the companies that extract oil and natural gas a good bet?
  3. Investing

    What is Fracking?

    Fracking, a slang term for hydraulic fracturing, is a method for extracting natural gas from sedimentary rocks.
  4. Investing

    The Cost of Shale Oil Versus Conventional Oil

    Fracking technology has brought new costs to the oil extraction process, and that has an impact on the profitability of the deposits being drilled.
  5. Investing

    With Fracking It’s All About Water Management

    It takes an awfully large amount of water to frack an oil and gas well these days. Given the growth projections for production activity in the U.S. and Canada, water management could be one of ...
  6. Investing

    How Fracking Affects Natural Gas Prices

    Whatever you think of fracking, it has done one thing: kept the price of natural gas from increasing any more than it has.
  7. Investing

    How the Oil and Gas Industry Works

    The oil and gas industry has unique terminology that's crucial for investors to understand.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Fracking ETFs Or Drilling Services Stocks?

    Hydraulic fracturing — otherwise known as fracking — is a hot topic. But how to invest in this trend?
  9. Investing

    The 5 Biggest Canadian Mining Companies (POT, AGU)

    Learn about the largest Canadian mining companies by market capitalization, including potash production, gold production and other rare minerals.
  1. How has fracking helped the U.S. to decrease dependence on foreign oil?

    Learn about the drilling technique referred to as fracking, and discover how this technology has significantly reduced U.S. ... Read Answer >>
  2. Where and when is fracking advantageous?

    Take a deeper look at the economic and environmental impacts of fracking, a technique used to increase the production of ... Read Answer >>
  3. What country is the world's largest natural gas producer?

    Learn about the biggest natural gas producers and how the expansion of the fracking technique has increased natural gas production. Read Answer >>
  4. What regulations are in place that affect fracking?

    Read about some of the regulations that impact the practice of hydraulic fracturing, which is used to increase oil and gas ... Read Answer >>
  5. What types of industries are the main consumers of the products of the chemicals ...

    Learn about industries that use products manufactured by chemical companies. Explore common materials used and produced by ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Compound Interest

    Compound Interest is interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods ...
  2. Income Statement

    A financial statement that measures a company's financial performance over a specific accounting period. Financial performance ...
  3. Leverage Ratio

    A leverage ratio is any one of several financial measurements that look at how much capital comes in the form of debt, or ...
  4. Annuity

    An annuity is a financial product that pays out a fixed stream of payments to an individual, primarily used as an income ...
  5. Restricted Stock Unit - RSU

    A restricted stock unit is a compensation issued by an employer to an employee in the form of company stock.
  6. Monero

    Monero is a digital currency that offers a high level of anonymity for users and their online transactions.
Trading Center