Tracking Sand: Miners Talk Permian Proppant

When it comes to frack sand in the Permian Basin, one thing is for sure—concerns remain.

As some operators pump more than 5,000 tons of sand per well to help crack open rock to release oil and test new completion techniques, frack sand suppliers are racing to fill growing sand needs. They’re building new mines—Alpine Silica being among the latest to announce expansion plans—as doubts linger on whether projects will be completed on schedule.

Good news is that sand suppliers are working to ward off logistical nightmares as they aim to grow capacity.

A trio of frack sand mining operators took the stage at Hart Energy’s DUG Permian Basin conference and exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, in late May to talk about the emerging use of in-basin sand from West Texas sand dune deposits for hydraulic fracturing in the world’s most active shale play. They also discussed how they are working to meet the oil industry’s needs while addressing challenges.