Oilfield minerals - a shifting landscape

By Emma Hughes, Nilima Choudhury
Published: Tuesday, 27 May 2014

North American demand for oilfield minerals has never been stronger, but now other countries, such as China, are looking to increase their production of oil and gas from shale reserves. As a result, the global proppant and drilling mud industries are seeing changes in traditional supply chain patterns, exacerbated by new regulations and changes to product requirements, Emma Hughes, Deputy Editor and Nilima Choudhury, Chief Reporter, discover.

The landscape for oilfield minerals, used in the extraction of hydrocarbons from underground wells, has shifted over the past five years as an increase in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) worldwide has driven up demand for frac sand, sintered bauxite and kaolin, the main components of oilfield proppants.

Proppants, which are used...

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