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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Comprehensive data compiled by a respected air-monitoring scientist demonstrates that people living near frac sand facilities are safe from exposure to hazardous levels of crystalline silica. A study conducted by Dr. John Richards of Air Control Techniques used 657 daily average PM4 crystalline silica measurements, almost two years’ worth of data, and it found the long-term average concentrations measured at seven sampling locations were only 5–20 percent of the levels considered hazardous by California and Minnesota health officials. That means these facilities pose no threat to public health.
  • Richard Zeits, writing for Seeking Alpha, had this to say about ceramic proppant: “With the oil and natural gas industry remaining severely depressed, near-term visibility for ceramic proppant demand is limited. Many E&P operators have indicated that they are substantially reducing or stopping all completion activity in the last five weeks of the fourth quarter.”
  • The Des Moines Register is reporting that contamination from a fire last year inside a northeast Iowa sand mine along the Mississippi River cost a neighboring company more than $500,000, according to a lawsuit. The federal lawsuit brought by Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. claims that smoke and soot from the fire spread from the mine onto its property and tainted grain, salt, fertilizer and other products the company had in storage. Workers inside the Clayton County mine owned by Pattison Sand Co. were welding on July 10, 2014, when sparks landed on plastic piping and ignited the fire, according to the lawsuit. In the wake of the fire, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration ordered the mine and Consolidated Grain's property to be evacuated due to concerns about air quality, according to the lawsuit.