Permian Frac Sand has opened a location three miles east of Voca, Texas, on State Highway 71. Operations at the new state-of-the-art facility have just begun, according to the Midland Reporter Telegram.
Investors are opening a frac sand mine despite a dramatic industry slowdown that has seen the nation’s rig count sink 60 percent. Though fewer wells are being drilled, those that are being drilled require more sand for frac jobs, said Richard Coats, who is investing in Permian Frac Sand along with Kip Agar and Don Smith of Smith Brothers Pipe.
“Historically, a frac job required a million lbs. of sand; now it’s 8 million or 12 million lbs. of sand," Coats said. "Twelve million lbs. of sand used to cover 12 wells; now it covers one well. The rig count may be half what it was, but sand quantity per well is up,” he said.
The mine will have initial capacity of 100 tons per hour, and will offer 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh Brady Brown sand from the Hickory formation. The company said that they’re learning the area’s geology and that some areas yield more 20/40 sand, and another more 30/50 sand.
The three believe the mine’s proximity to Permian Basin oil fields offers them an advantage. “A lot of the sand historically comes from the north, from Wisconsin or northern Illinois,” Agar said. “It’s gotten so expensive, people are looking for local sources. We believe we have a cost advantage because of transportation costs.”