SandBox Logistics was acquired by U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. in August 2016 as a value added fit to its business of providing commercial silica products and services to the oil and gas industry. SandBox Logistics offers innovative solutions in the transport of proppant, and the purchase of the company has already exceeded U.S. Silica’s initial expectations.
Proppants play a fundamental role in the hydraulic fracturing used in oil and gas extraction. They are particulate materials (including silica sand grains and manufactured ceramic materials) that are conveyed to the fracture by water or other fluids. The mesh they create enables released oil or gas to pass through it as the oil or gas flows to the wellbore.
As proppants are used in deep hydrocarbon formations so that the fracture remains propped open, the proppant material must be able to cope with the oil and gas, freshwater and saltwater, various temperatures, and high pressure. Proppants are not a one size fits all solution, as hydrocarbon formations have different characteristics and require different approaches. Given this fact an appropriate proppant material must be chosen, a decision commonly based on its strength, density, shape, and size.
SandBox Logistics is a Houston, Texas-based company that provides hydraulic fracturing clients with innovation-driven last mile delivery services. Acquired by growth-focused U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc., in August 2016, SandBox Logistics was recently featured in a Seeking Alpha article titled “Frac Sand Companies with Integrated Logistics Will Be King in 2017.”
With regional sand demand expected to expand upwards of 70 percent this year, a key investor focus is on U.S. Silica’s multifaceted growth strategy, which began with the acquisition of NBR Sand in July 2016. This regionally focused move centered on East Texas markets spanning Haynesville, Eagle Ford, and Eaglebine.
Seeking Alpha characterized the SandBox Logistics deal as equally impactful, with forecasts pointing to a doubling of market share within the upcoming 12-18 months. The acquisition is described as highlighting the vital role that last-mile logistics play in boosting fracking operation activities and driving industry efficiencies and profitability within a competitive market environment.
U.S. Silica Holdings
Based in Houston, Texas, SandBox Logistics, LLC, provides independent, last-mile delivery services to clients throughout the hydraulic fracturing industry. In August of 2016, SandBox Logistics, LLC, was successfully acquired by U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc., which maintains Russell 2000 membership and is one of the country’s leading commercial silica producers.
The high-profile acquisition was characterized by U.S. Silica CEO and President Bryan Shinn as significantly boosting his company’s logistics capabilities. In particular, the transformative solutions SandBox offers decouple well-site consumption from sand delivery, thus increasing safety and reliability.
The $218 million transaction was also characterized as providing U.S. Silica with scalability advantages, with widespread industry adoption potentially leading to long-term shareholder value. The value of the acquisition was reinforced during a February 2017 conference call in which U.S. Silica Holdings pointed to major revenue and funding increases in 2016, and to expansion plans that call for more than 80 SandBox fleets to be in operation by year’s end.
SandBox Logistics, LLC, is a Houston-based company focused on the transportation of proppant, a sand-like material used in the fracking process, from diverse resource-extraction locations. In August 2016, SandBox Logistics received new strategic impetus when SandBox Enterprises, LLC, was acquired by U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc.
The $218 million transaction was lauded for the commercial and operational synergies it created. With mobile transloading available for any rail spur nationwide, the transaction is seen as leading to highly efficient capital use.
The deal was also described by the president and CEO of U.S. Silica as giving his company the capacity to make sand delivery more reliable and safe. The containerized approach is scalable and provides long-term shareholder value through its “last mile” delivery commitment. Cost-effectiveness is ensured through proprietary equipment and processes. With services extending from wellhead to mine, the company now has the potential to transform how fracking transportation is handled.
Based in Houston, Texas, SandBox Logistics is a firm that provides companies in the oil and gas sector with innovative methods of frac sand handling, proppant storage, and well-site delivery. Firms that rely on hydraulic fracturing in their production processes can employ the services of SandBox Logistics in order to better protect workers against the hazards posed by silica dust and frac sand, as recently mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
According to an OSHA document published in March of 2016, companies conducting hydraulic fracturing operations must take certain precautions to protect onsite workers from the health hazards posed by the inhalation of crystalline silica. The new provisions of the rule require employers to regularly monitor air quality on worksites, make improvements to engineering controls to reduce exposure, and offer protective respiratory equipment to workers in the event that levels of respirable silica cannot be controlled or diminished.
Uncontrolled regular exposure to respirable silica has the potential to cause silicosis in workers, a disease that inflames and scars lung tissue, ultimately resulting in a reduced capacity for oxygen inhalation. Silica also has the potential to cause life-threatening diseases like lung cancer, and may play a role in the development of illnesses like kidney disease, tuberculosis, and autoimmune disorders.
Through a full range of proprietary oil field solutions, Sandbox Logistics facilitates the cleaner, more efficient transport and delivery of proppant from fracking operations. This has resulted in partnerships with major energy corporations. Houston-based Halliburton recently announced the selection of Sandbox Logistics as its containerized sand delivery preferred provider.
The president of Halliburton described this move as reflecting a mandate for more efficient logistics capacities within its supply chain, with an emphasis on the “last-mile component.” The new delivery system will decrease costs through better operating efficiencies and also create a work environment that is safer and more secure.
The president and CEO of U.S. Silica, which owns Sandbox Logistics, described the link-up with Halliburton as reflecting his firm’s emergence as an industry-leading provider of last-mile services designed to enhance client operations. Once implemented, the system will enable Halliburton to “flex quickly” with both markets and customers, in ways that optimize logistical asset values.
Operating in Houston, Texas, Sandbox Logistics provides hydraulic fracturing proppant transportation services for the oil and gas industries. Committed to health and environmental safety, Sandbox Logistics helps reduce the impact of silica dust on jobs sites and in nearby communities.
Crystalline silica, found in the earth’s crust, is a basic component of many minerals. Quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite are all forms of crystalline silica that can become inhalable dust when they are cut or ground.
This dust is harmful when inhaled, causing problems including lung cancer, silicosis, and kidney disease. Workers may be exposed to silica dust when they are sawing or drilling industrial materials or when they have to deal with large amounts of industrial sand. Studies show that more than two million workers in the United States are at risk of exposure to silica dust.
The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses sand and liquid to extract gas and oil from the earth. As the popularity of fracking grows, the threat of silica dust air pollution, which can affect residents near frac mining and processing sites, is getting higher.