Fracking Makes Sand The New Hot Commodity: What You Need To Know

September 03, 2014

Size Fractions

Sieve Opening Sizes (µm) 3350/1700 2360/1180 1700/850 1180/600 850/425 600/300 425/212 212/106
Frac Sand Size Designations b
6/12
b
8/16
a
12/20
b
16/30
a
20/40
b
30/50
a
40/70
b
70/140

 

It also needs to be matched to the particular job—fracs differ for many reasons, e.g., rock type, basin, etc., and having the right proppant is vital.

Any Old Sand & Frac Sand

FracSand

Source: Wisconsin Academy
 

As the fracking industry grows, so does the need for sand, in big numbers: A single well may need anywhere between 1 and 4 million pounds of frac sand with which to be "stimulated." In other words, according to U.S. Silica's CEO, on average, 25 railcars of sand are needed to frack one well.

Why The Sand?

According to estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. is by far the world's largest producer of industrial sand and gravel. It's also a significant exporter of both, to the tune of some 8.4 percent of the country's domestic production.

 

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