Texas Frac Sand Mining Tries To Meet Booming Demand
Frac sand mining continues to increase to support the surging Texas oil industry.
With local supplies of frac sand limited, costs have been rising fast. In fact, about half of 2018 demand for the product will be in West Texas. Part of the reason for the increasing demand is that the sand demanded for each well is increasing as wells get deeper and longer. The sand consumption per well has increased from 1,500 tons to 25,000 tons over the last few years.
To help respond to the growing demand, many new mines are under construction and existing mines are being repurposed for frac sand.
Fairmount Santrol will be building a new Permian Basin sand mine to help feed the wells of West Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Ohio company projects that sand needs will continue rising as wells continue to become more difficult. By building a mine in Texas rather than in Wisconsin or Minnesota, frac sand hauling costs will decrease. Able to produce 5 million tons of sand annually, the mine will begin operating in 2018.
Connecticut’s Unimin Corp. plans to open a Permian Basin sand production facility in early 2018. “transportation costs will be much lower,” noted U.S. Silica spokesperson Michael Lawson. The new operation will output 5 million tons each year.
Likewise, U.S. Silica announced in June that it will construct a facility to produce more than 4 million tons each year in West Texas. According to U.S. Silica CEO and president, Bryan Shinn, energy companies “want more local sand supply in the Permian to support future well completions.”
Another company joining the push for Texas frac sand production, Houston-based Hi-Crush Partners, purchased the Permian Basin Sand Co. earlier this year to help serve West Texas drilling demand. “Location is critical,” said Robert Rasmus, Hi-Crush CEO.
Similarly, Emerge Energy Services has purchased a San Antonio sand facility and plans to expand its production to meet frac sand mining needs. With 80 million tons of sand reserves located near the Eagle Ford shale the facility, “will be highly desirable for frac sand purposes,” said Ted Beneski, Emerge Chairman.
In response to increasing demand for sand and with the aim of improving last mile sand delivery logisitics Dragon Products recently introduced a patented frac sand hauling system that aims to reduce the cost of sand transportation by reducing demurrage rates and costly delays. By simplifying frac sand transportation and delivery logistics, Dragon’s roll-off sand pods will benefit both Texas frac sand producers and well-site operations.
For more information on Dragon roll-off sand pods, contact us today.