Six-year-low crude oil prices may have decimated new drilling activity, but market indicators show there is a more intense use of frac sand in the new wells that remain in the Eagle Ford and other shale plays. A June 11 report from global investment bank Jefferies shows that overall demand for frac sand is down in 2015 due to low oil prices but its use per well has been steadily increasing over the past three years.
Athabasca Minerals Inc. appointed Scott MacDougall to the position of interim president and chief executive officer effective June 19, 2015. MacDougall previously served as both chief operating officer and vice president of operations since joining Athabasca Minerals in April 2014. "I welcome the opportunity to lead Athabasca on behalf of its shareholders and board of directors, and look forward to the continued expansion of the corporation's portfolio of industrial minerals projects,” he said. “Our team will continue to optimize and expand the corporation's core aggregate operations while advancing our Firebag Frac Sand Project development."
According to the Chippewa Herald, a slowdown in the frac sand industry isn’t being reflected in the workload of the Chippewa County Land Conservation and Forest Management Department. “We continue to see the investments in the infrastructure that is necessary to support the industry for the long haul,” said Dan Masterpole, the department’s director. He said there’s been no slowdown in the number of new permit applications for frac sand operations in the county. “We’re continuing getting sand and gravel mine (applications) in the door,” said Seth Ebel, county project engineer.