Source Energy Services celebrated the opening of its frac sand production, storage, and rail car loading facility located in Weyerhaeuser, Wis. Several local officials attended the ribbon cutting and community appreciation event, including those from Barron County, the Village of Weyerhaeuser, and the Town of Sumner. The Weyerhaeuser facility complements the frac sand mine and processing facility operated by Source in the town of Sumner.
The Weyerhaeuser facility now enables Source to load unit trains of frac sand destined for regions with active oil and natural gas exploration and development. The unit trains will utilize CN's North American rail network allowing sand to be shipped across America or to the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. The first unit train consisting of over 90 rail cars departed Weyerhaeuser after the ceremony and is headed to the oil fields in Western Canada.
The facility hosts more than 50,000 tons of storage and has the ability to load more than 100 rail cars in a 24 hour period of time. The new Weyerhaeuser facility will receive sand from Source's mine and sand processing facility located nearby in the town of Sumner. Together, the plants are designed to produce and ship over 2.0 million tons per year of the highest quality northern white frac sand.
Scott Melbourne, vice president, operations, for Source Energy Services, explained that with the assistance of the Village of Weyerhaeuser and local contractors and suppliers, the state-of-the- art sand processing, storage, and railcar loading facility was completed in record time. "Construction on the Weyerhaeuser project started in the fall of 2013, and by December the first load of sand had already been shipped. It was impressive to complete a facility of this magnitude during one of the coldest winters on record,” said Melbourn.
The facility is now one of the largest frac sand processing and frac sand storage and rail loading operations in North America, according to the company.
"We've been fortunate to have the support from the residents of the Village of Weyerhaeuser, the town of Sumner as well as the Rusk and Barron counties. We couldn't have built our facilities without the cooperation we've experienced and we look forward to running a business that will bring good things to the region for years to come," said Melbourn.
Specifically, Source's Weyerhaeuser and Sumner facilities contribute to the local economy by employing more than 75 local residents. "Unlike other frac sand plants in the region," said Melbourn, "we'll endeavor to operate 12 months a year while providing a safe and stable work environment to our employees."
Brad Thomson, president and CEO of Source Energy Services, added that the Weyerhaeuser and Sumner operations are a part of an integrated service offering being provided to Source's customers. "Today's oil and gas industry requires that the supplier distribute huge volumes of frac sand to some of the most remote regions of the continent," said Thomson. "With our Wisconsin facility, we have the ability to produce the highest quality frac sand and by partnering with Canadian National (CN), we're able to transport frac sand into our high volume frac sand distribution network. In this way, we can ensure that our customers will always have frac sand – where they need it, when they need it."
A key component of the transportation of Source's frac sand is the partnership with CN. CN will transport more than 100 rail cars of sand at a time from the Weyerhaeuser facility to destinations such Wembley, Alberta, Canada, more than 1,700 miles away.