Halliburton, US Silica Set North America Record

Keeping up with exploration and production companies’ need for more sand on hydraulic fracturing jobs, Halliburton Corp. and U.S. Silica Holdings have moved an industry record of almost 19,000 tons of sand via unit trains across the country.

Timothy Wesbey
Timothy Wesbey, Director of Supply Chain, Halliburton
Director of Supply Chain, Halliburton

The trainload – the largest frac sand unit of its kind shipping in North America – took five days to build before it was loaded with 30/50 and 40/70 U.S. Silica White frac sand in Ottawa, Ill. It arrived at its Elmendorf, Texas, destination Oct. 13.

The record signifies an emerging trend in oilfield services toward cost-savings and efficiency, Tim Wesbey, director of supply chain at Halliburton, told Rigzone.

Unit trains cut time from the mine to the facility. Their use enables Halliburton to make the most of its vast infrastructure in place – allowing a quicker and more efficient delivery – which lowers the cost per barrel for the well, Wesbey said. What’s more, because Halliburton maintains its operations with 24-hour staff, the labor force will be an important of its efficiency.

Sand merchants and miners, such as U.S. Silica, are enjoying a business resurgence as E&Ps are increasingly using more and more sand on frac jobs. The extra sand allows the oil and gas to move more freely, boosting production. Credit Suisse analysts have projected sand volumes in 2018 will surpass peak 2014 levels, but with half the rig count –making sand the fastest-growing sub-sector of the oilfield services market.


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