The basic method was developed by Chevron over a decade, and patented. The person who developed it for Chevron went off to form GasFrac, and Chevron granted them a license to use. Since then the inventor developed many other methods for :
1. Better method of Gelling "normal" propane
2. Mixing propant in gelled propane
3. The system and equipment which allows the fluid + proppant to be injected downhole, and the gases which come back re-captured.
4. The control system which automates the entire process so it can be done remotely, for safety concerns.
This has led to 10 patents approved in Canada, where GasFrac has an ironclad hold over many important parts of the technology to "make it work". In the US the original Chevron patent is the main protection, but the other technological patents that have been approved in Canada are being filed.
As many people have noted, there is a high degree of "fear factor" associated with this methodology, and Gasfrac has a decade head start in development (thanks to Chevron) and five years of "making it work" in the field. As the technology becomes understood to be a game changer for many oil filled formations, GasFrac will be the trusted, go to name.
The CEO, CFO of Gasfrac are formed Halliburton big wigs who came over to sell the process in the US, and takeover from the "scientist" who was running the company. Gasfrac will almost certainly be bought out by a big player once industry demand of this product exceeds what Gasfrac can deliver on with their capital base.