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Going Local for Supplies Sparks New Frac Sand Boom in Texas

From the Financial Times

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Sand prices are rebounding as fracking intensifies

The industry is excavating dunes for frac sand, which is pumped into wells to crack open rocks and get oil and gas flowing.

The deposits are in demand because they lie close by the hot Permian shale region, making them cheaper than sands carried in from older mines 1,000 miles away. Locally dug sand is influencing the economics of US oil production, helping shale supplies compete in world markets. It is also worrying investors who own shares in railroads that haul sand and in sand miners that may be on the cusp of a glut. Sand was a critical ingredient of the shale drilling revolution.

Without it, US oil production would not have nearly doubled in the past decade to an estimated 9.7m barrels per day. Between 2012 and 2014, total US demand for “proppants” such as frac sand rose from 34m to 61.5m short tons, according to Rystad Energy, a consultancy.

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From the Financial Times

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