With the shale revolution that has occurred over the last half decade, oil and gas operators in the Permian Basin have begun experimenting with their recipes for hydraulic fracturing, most noticeably the type of proppant, or as many call it, frac-sand.
40% of all sand on the Union-Pacific rail line currently terminates in the Midland-Odessa area and with over a half dozen facilities currently operating, a half dozen more set to be operational by Summer 2018, and a total of 20 set to be online come 2019, it is fair to say that the frac-sand mining industry is booming.
Operators are largely turning to the regionally produced sand because in doing so, it reduces their frac-sand logistical costs by 40%.
Nearly all of the mining operations are located in either Ward or Winkler Counties with a few in Ector, Crane, and Upton. With outputs in the 3-5 million MTPA per facility and daily truck traffic ranging from 350-750 trucks daily, we are seeing nothing short of a frac-sand revolution.
With any great boom, comes an even greater stress on infrastructure, specifically along SH 302 and SH 18 in Ward and Winkler Counties where a majority of the mining facilities are located.