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Rail yards climb aboard shale boom in Texas
Houston Chronicle ^ | September 29, 2012 | Jennifer Hiller

Posted on 09/30/2012 2:07:34 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

HONDO - A few years ago, this was a cotton field distinguishable only for its location along a railroad track and a bucolic view of the Hill Country in the distance.

This year, an estimated 15,000 rail cars will move through Hondo Railway's 175-acre property - many of them carrying fracturing sand bound for drilling operations in the Eagle Ford Shale formation.

All across South Texas, rail yards are adding track to service the shale drilling boom happening in a 20-county swath of the state, stretching from the border toward East Texas.

"We didn't know the Eagle Ford Shale was coming," said Miles Lee, chief operating officer of Hondo Railway. "It just kind of fell in our lap."

.............."We've gone from moving about 1,500 rail cars a year when we were in San Antonio to probably moving 15,000 this year," Lee said.

And most of that increase has come from fracturing sand. Each day, 40 to 50 rail cars of sand moves through Hondo Railway. Houston's Baker Hughes already has built two storage domes for fracturing sand there, and the Lee family and the city of Hondo are negotiating with companies that want to build sites with rail access in the burgeoning industrial park.

It's not just Hondo Railway that's moving fracturing sand.

"Not one site can handle it," Lee said. "There's so much sand coming in."

Thomas Tunstall, director of the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute for Economic Development, said the growth in rail is part of a massive build-out of infrastructure, including pipelines and roads, related to hydraulic fracturing operations across South Texas.....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: economy; fracking; jobs; oil

1 posted on 09/30/2012 2:07:47 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

In New Jersey and Delaware, several refineries are in the process of upgrading their rail systems to handle larger shipments of Bakken crude.

2 posted on 09/30/2012 2:31:28 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (When religions have to beg the gov't for a waiver, we are already under socialism.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

One million bbls of bakken crude a day are transported by rail. I have no estimate of how much goes out in thepipelines

3 posted on 09/30/2012 2:47:38 AM PDT by South Dakota (shut up and drill)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Fracking sand is a highly specialized type of pure silica sand that comes from only a few locations in the US. The most widely used frac sands fall in the 20 to 40 mesh size, consist of very clean, rounded quartz grains, and are 99 percent quartz or silica. Frac sands are washed or scrubbed to remove silt and clay size particles, carbonate cement, iron coatings and other minerals. The most popular frac sands are found in the mid-section of the nation, and are derived from older Ordovician and Cambrian units and come from the St. Peter and Jordan formations in Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois, the Oil Creek formation in Oklahoma, and the Hickory and Riley sandstones in Texas.

The greenies are going nuts about open-pit frac sand mines in Wisconsin and want to prevent new mines from opening. It's a new attack vector on fracking.

Where Does Frac Sand Come From?
Mining Companies Invade Wisconsin for Frac-Sand

Check out the list of sand mines in Wisconsin that are being permitted or under construction at The Coming Tsunami Of Frac Sand Supply: Wisconsin alone, we estimate that at least 14.1 M tons of new frac sand capacity (49% of total current production) is currently under construction, with another 11.5 M tons (an additional 40% of current production) permitted and/or proposed in the state. This compares with forecast 12% per annum demand growth. Uncoated frac sand typically costs between $20-$30 a ton to mine. Two years ago (2011), pricing for uncoated sand averaged in the low-to-mid $40s per ton but then spiked to north of $100 per ton earlier this year on an intermittent supply crunch (spot is currently around $80 per ton).

I find it ironic that the enviro-kooks have fought coal for four decades and, finally being successful, are causing coal plants and mines to go out of business. They thought that abundant natural gas, wind and solar would replace coal. Little did they know that vast open-pit coal mines would be replaced by vast open-pit sand mines! Karma...

4 posted on 09/30/2012 4:11:06 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Do not get me wrong, I am all for growth. But I sure feel for the people that live on the right hand of the tracks headed south thru Hondo and Sabinal.

I bet their life is a nightmare right now. For no one that has been to Hondo or Sabinal, the track runs right thru town paralleling Hiway 90. Each town has about 6 or so crossings over the tracks.

5 posted on 09/30/2012 5:26:09 AM PDT by eartick (Been to the line in the sand and liked it)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I can imagine the folks that planned “Fast & Furious” are already working on plans to derail one of those crude oil trains in some lib infested area, maybe by a river, and arrange for a huge fire so all crude shipments can be banned because they are primarily too damaging to the environment and secondarily hazardous to people.

6 posted on 09/30/2012 6:40:18 AM PDT by redfreedom (Just a simpleton enjoying the freedoms a fly-over/red state has to offer.)
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