Texas-based Brownwood Clay Holdings
LLC (BCH) has developed a new technology for producing ceramic
proppant material using natural mineral clay resources found
near oil and gas shale plays in Texas.
The technology, used to manufacture
ceramic proppant materials comprised of natural mineral clays,
is expected to significantly reduce the transportation costs
and increase the availability in Texas of ceramic proppants,
which can be used in the hydraulic fracturing (fracking)
process in Texas.
The limited availability of
ceramic proppant manufactured in the US and the expense of
transporting it from other countries negatively affects oil and
gas operators, Gary Davis, co-operating manager of
Brownwood Clay Holdings, explained.
By using select clay as the
significant constituent material in our formulations -
which is naturally occurring near shale plays around the world
and more effective than sand - weve created a way
for oil and gas companies to achieve the same results in
conductivity, permeability and crush resistance achieved by
other ceramic proppants, without the cost or production delays
associated with shipping proppant from distant locations,
BCH has been working in partnership
with proppant consultants OPF Enterprises to create and test
various formulations of the ceramic proppant, which is produced
with predominately natural mineral clay resources available
near oil and gas shale plays.
Third-party testing, conducted by
US-based companies Stim-Lab, Inc. and PropTester Inc.,
concluded that BCH proppants performs favourably to frac sand
and performs comparably to kaolin or bauxite-based ceramic
Filling in the
BCHs work in creating a new,
locally sourced, proppant material began in 2010. The company
then partnered with the ceramic manufacturing experts at On the
Plant Floor (OPF) Enterprises and invested in more than two
years of research and development, resulting in Brownwood
establishing a Houston-based laboratory in January 2012.
Additional core testing by the
Bishop Materials Laboratory at Clemson University completed
earlier this year on BCHs Texas land holdings confirmed a
1.65km2 deposit containing more than 100m tonnes of
inferred clay mineral resources of several classifications.
BCH and OPF have now successfully
converted the globally-available mineral clays into lightweight
ceramic proppants, which have been shown through third-party
testing to meet the American Petroleum Institutes
published specifications as well as demonstrating the strength
and uniformity of kaolin- and bauxite-based products.
BCH is currently offering manufacturers, operators, mineral
owners and other investors an opportunity to license or acquire
their proprietary formulations and clay mineral