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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Eleven minor earthquakes shook central Oklahoma recently, renewing speculation that the area’s oil and gas drilling boom – fueled by fracking – is to blame for an increase in seismic activity. During a 14-hour stretch the U.S. Geological Survey recorded seven quakes ranging from magnitude 2.6 to 2.9 in areas northeast of Oklahoma City. In addition, a 4.3-magnitude temblor hit Langston, and three other quakes ranging from magnitude 2.9 to 3.2 occurred after. There were no reports of major damage or injuries, according to Tulsa World.
  • A group of Winona, Minn.-area residents have filed a petition calling for an environmental review of a company that ships frac sand at the commercial harbor, halting the company’s request for more shipping flexibility. The 115 people who signed the petition are also arguing that the Winona Board of Adjustment, which was set to vote on the permit soon, has a conflict of interest and shouldn’t vote on the permit at all, because the city’s port authority gets a cut from all commodities shipped through the port. The state Environmental Quality Board has accepted the permit and passed it along to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which will ultimately decide whether a review is required.
  • U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of Cadre Services Inc., a regional sand-mining company based in Voca, Texas. The addition of Cadre’s outstanding operational and logistics capabilities allows U.S. Silica to expand its geographic footprint and product offerings in the fast-growing Permian Basin. The purchase price was $98 million. “The successful acquisition of Cadre presents new opportunities for U.S. Silica and supports our strategy to bring on additional capacity to serve the growing demand for raw sand proppants,” said Bryan Shinn, president and chief executive officer. “Specifically, it allows us to provide our customers with high-quality, regionally produced products that effectively meet the demands of many of the Permian oil and gas wells,” he added.