Increased Oil and Gas Drilling Faces Frac Sand Shortage
FRAC SAND SHORTAGE: A resurgence in Oil and Gas drilling is underway in Texas and other parts of the country but there’s a shortage of a key material needed to frac wells -- SAND! And not just any sand will do as a certain grade is needed which mostly comes from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Steve Swanson is with Northern Industrial Sands in Wayzata, Minnesota, he explains more about the shortage. "Yes, there currently is. We're running out of certain gradations. Sand predominantly comes in
four sizes, and the finest two sizes are consistently running into shortage."Most fracking sand comes from the fine-grain "northern white" sand from Minnesota and Wisconsin, but demand and longer travel distance has led to more Texas sand mines. The amount of sand per well has surged in the past decade because of deeper and longer wells. Swanson says "An average well that was fracked would use maybe 500 or 1,000 tons of sand. Now we are constantly pushing
five to ten thousand tons, and that is causing a shortage on the two finest grades of sand."Oil & Gas companies say the sand shortage is temporary as they develop more alternate sources from mining sand in West Texas.