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Sector News

Frac Sand

  • Hi-Crush ups capacity through expansion and acquisition

    Thursday, 23 March 2017

    In addition to the acquisition of new frac sand facilities, the US-frac sand producer is on track with its 3m tpa expansion in the Permian Basin, due to come online later this year.

  • DW forecasts higher oil and gas spending as US shale recovers

    Tuesday, 21 March 2017

    Consultancy firm Douglas Westwood has revised its forecast for onshore expenditure to 2021 as improvements in US shale activity are expected to drive investment in rigs and rig equipment.

  • Proppant pricing "unsustainable" low: Fairmount Santrol

    Friday, 10 March 2017

    The US frac silica sand producer reported a loss in the last quarter of 2016 despite higher revenues and volumes y-o-y. While Fairmount noted an uptick in prices in Q4 and in early 2017, the company added that proppant prices still stand at unsustainably low levels.

  • US Senate repeals BLM Planning 2.0 rule

    Wednesday, 08 March 2017

    The rule was criticised by the oil and gas sector, which expressed concerns that planning and development of resources would become more time consuming. The repeal of the rule will now go to the US president for his signature.

More from Frac Sand

Bentonite

  • DW forecasts higher oil and gas spending as US shale recovers

    Tuesday, 21 March 2017

    Consultancy firm Douglas Westwood has revised its forecast for onshore expenditure to 2021 as improvements in US shale activity are expected to drive investment in rigs and rig equipment.

  • US Senate repeals BLM Planning 2.0 rule

    Wednesday, 08 March 2017

    The rule was criticised by the oil and gas sector, which expressed concerns that planning and development of resources would become more time consuming. The repeal of the rule will now go to the US president for his signature.

  • North American rig counts on the rise

    Tuesday, 07 March 2017

    The latest figures from Baker Hughes showed an increase in North American rig counts both on a monthly and yearly basis for February 2017. While international rig counts were still down on 2016 numbers, overall worldwide figures showed growth.

  • DOJ requests more info on Baker Hughes-GE transaction

    Tuesday, 07 March 2017

    The second request is a "normal" part of the US Department of Justice review, Baker Hughes has said, and the transaction to absorb GE's oil and gas business is still on track for completion in mid-2017.

More from Bentonite

Barytes

  • US Senate repeals BLM Planning 2.0 rule

    Wednesday, 08 March 2017

    The rule was criticised by the oil and gas sector, which expressed concerns that planning and development of resources would become more time consuming. The repeal of the rule will now go to the US president for his signature.

  • North American rig counts on the rise

    Tuesday, 07 March 2017

    The latest figures from Baker Hughes showed an increase in North American rig counts both on a monthly and yearly basis for February 2017. While international rig counts were still down on 2016 numbers, overall worldwide figures showed growth.

  • DOJ requests more info on Baker Hughes-GE transaction

    Tuesday, 07 March 2017

    The second request is a "normal" part of the US Department of Justice review, Baker Hughes has said, and the transaction to absorb GE's oil and gas business is still on track for completion in mid-2017.

  • Chinese barite exports slip for second month running

    Wednesday, 01 March 2017

    The quantity of barite being exported from China declined in January, according to the latest China Customs figures.

More from Barytes

Market Brief

Based on the expanding amount of exploration taking place in both conventional oil and gas markets, as well as the burgeoning shale energy industry, the demand for oilfield minerals is expected to rise.

 

The increased call for minerals used during oilfield processes has caused price volatility over the past years – especially following the US shale gas boom, which took place from 2011 and is still having an im­pact on the market today.

 

Spikes in the price of barite (barytes), potash and silica sand (frac sand) over the last seven years have caused key buyers of raw materials – drilling fluid manufacturers such as Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Weatherford – to take a hit of up to $160m in one year.

 

Freight costs, lack of suitable raw material supply, and China’s pro­duction domination have all been blamed for pricespikes seen in oil­field minerals, particularly barite and potash.

 

Elsewhere, rising demand for ceramic proppants derived from bauxite and kaolin has sparked a raft of plant expansions in the US.

 

The supply and demand situation has alsoincreased the call for drill­ing minerals such as bentonite and barite.

 

Volatility in the oilfield market will remain,and the only way to overcome the gap that may open up in the supply and demandchain is to keep a close eye on industry developments.

How are industrial minerals used in fracking?

  • Drilling mud which consists of bentonite with additives such as barite, calcium carbonate and graphite is used to lubricate the drill bit.

  • Fracking fluid which consists of silica sand (1.959%) and water (97.85%) and a chemical mix (0.5%) including organic phosphonate, diatomite, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, calcium carbonate and magnesium chloride is sent down a well to ‘prop’ open fissures in the shale rock