Skip to comments.Oil Companies Drawn To 'Frac Sand'
Posted on 05/14/2012 12:58:42 PM PDT by thackney
This tiny corner of Texas Hill Country doesn't have oil or gas riches, but it does hold vast deposits of a granular commodity highly-coveted by energy companies: sand.
As the use of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing has skyrocketed in the U.S. amid the shale boom, demand for so-called "frac sand" has also increased dramatically. Demand for sand is so acute that some large oil and gas producers, such as EOG Resources Inc. and Pioneer Natural Resources Co., have taken the unusual step of buying their own sand plants in order to secure long-term supplies and try to put a lid on high prices.
Energy companies have managed to unleash a bounty of oil and natural gas by creating fissures in shale rock with high-pressure streams of water, allowing hydrocarbons trapped within to escape to the surface. The rounded silica sand extracted from the mines here--about 120 miles northwest of Austin--and other sites around the country, is used as a "proppant"--a material that holds these cracks open.
"The need for high quality sand has never been greater than it is today," says Jerry McGee, Chief Executive Officer of Cadre Proppants, a private-equity owned company that operates one of the largest silica sand mines in Texas, which started operating in April of last year. At the mine, the sand is sorted out and classified by grain size according to the needs of oil companies.
In 2011, hydraulic operations in the U.S. used about 28.7 million tons of sand, up from 6 million tons in 2007, according to independent laboratory PropTester Inc. and Kelrik LLC, a consultancy.
But the supply of sand has had trouble keeping up with demand over the past two years...
(Excerpt) Read more at rigzone.com ...
So, if somebody tells me to, “Go pound sand!” I should thank them!............
Don’t thank them, charge them!
That sand has gotten expensive.
I better start buying Sahara properties...........
Sand in fractured rock strata, I can see alien
geologists in the future...
Hey Zizx look at this, evidence of alien intelligence,
of course it could be global warming too...
...why did these Earth people pump sand into their planet’s crust?
Didn’t they know it was gonna cause it to split apart?...........
Anyone know what ‘grainsize’ fracking uses? I use something called federal fine and flint shot. Hope fracking doesn’t use those two sizes; price has been climbing.
Oh yeah...great.... We may have found a way to break the OPEC monopoly, and they do it by making SAND a commodity.....UUUUUGH.
Only bright side of rail transport right now is carrying sand.
Leasing companies are even converting Grain Carriers in to sand wagons.
AND THE EPA WANTS TO KILL THIS.
Fracking video; http://www.northernoil.com/drilling