Natural Gas Extraction – Sand Proppants

Sand Proppants pic

Sand Proppants
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SandBox Logistics delivers innovative industrial silica solutions to clients in a variety of sectors, including oil and gas extraction. In fact, SandBox Logistics and its partners’ sand proppant delivery operations maintain excellence at each point of the process, from sourcing sand at the mines to final off-loading at the well-head.

Sand proppant facilitates the removal of natural gas trapped deep underground. It comprises a particulate material mixed with a fluid and is pumped into the ground. The sandy fluid ensures that the fissures through which natural gas extraction occurs do not close in on themselves.

Proppants are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and they are often adjusted according to the geological features of the specific hydrocarbon extraction site in question. For each well, extraction firms can expect to need about 5 million pounds of sand to mix proppant.

Because of the sheer quantity of sand required by the industry, logistics can prove a challenge. In this case, “logistics” means the capacity to acquire sand from mines, ship it by rail over long distances, transition cargo from rail to truck, and deliver the sand safely to extraction sites.


Proppant Explained

Proppant pic


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 Drives Sustained Market Growth in 2017 and Beyond

Sandbox Logistics

Sandbox Logistics

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’ Acquisition of SandBox Logistics Drives Gains


U.S. Silica Holdings pic

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 Reaps Benefits from Acquisition

Sandbox Logistics

Sandbox Logistics

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.

Sandbox Logistics Selected by Halliburton as Preferred Provider

Sandbox Logistics

Sandbox Logistics

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.