Frack Sand Plant Fire Threatens Supplies for Texas Shale Wells

Frack Sand Plant Fire Threatens Supplies for Texas Shale Wells
A frack-sand plant in the Eagle Ford region of Texas erupted in flames over the weekend.

A frack-sand plant in the Eagle Ford region of Texas erupted in flames over the weekend, imperiling supplies of a key component in shale drilling.

The blaze at Superior Silica Sands LLC’s sand-processing complex in San Antonio began around 2:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, according to reports from the city’s NBC and CBS television affiliates. A voicemail left at Superior’s Chandler, Arizona, headquarters outside of regular business hours wasn’t immediately returned. 

Sand is an essential part of the mix, along with water and chemicals, that frackers pump into shale wells to crack open the rock and release crude oil and natural gas. 

“Our hunch is that this may be pretty disruptive to Eagle Ford sand supplies (which were already very tight before this fire) through year-end,” Joseph Triepke, managing director at energy-research firm Lium LLC, wrote in a note to clients on Saturday.


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