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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Oil prices rose after a top energy monitor said that prices might have bottomed on hopes that falling supply would help alleviate the global glut of crude. The International Energy Agency said that prices have been supported by easing supply around the globe but cautioned that the recent rally might not be sustainable as the demand outlook remains uncertain. Crude prices have rebounded by around 40 percent since their lows last month. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 1.7 percent to $40.76 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 2.4 percent at $38.76 a barrel. Both benchmarks are up around 14 percent this month.
  • Fairmount Santrol announced Michael F. Biehl will become executive vice president and chief financial officer. Biehl will join Fairmount Santrol from Chart Industries Inc. Prior to Chart Industries, he was vice president, finance and treasurer at the former Oglebay Norton Co., an industrial minerals, mining, processing and transportation company. Biehl also previously worked in the audit practice of Ernst & Young LLP in Cleveland. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BBA (with a major in accounting) from Ohio University. “After a thorough search for the best candidate, we are very pleased Michael will be joining Fairmount Santrol to lead our Finance and Accounting organization. Given his extensive public company financial experience and broad knowledge of the industrial, energy and mining industries, we believe Michael will be an excellent addition to our management team and a valuable asset to our company,” said Jenniffer Deckard, Fairmount Santrol president and chief executive officer.
  • North America Frac Sand Inc. reports that there has been significant exploration activity on 1,680 acres of the 30,000-acre North America Frac Sand (CA) property. Since 2008, Canadian Sandtech Inc. has drilled 173 holes on these mineral leases. All holes were 300-ft. spacing, except for seven drill holes and 17 backhoe holes, which were 600-ft. spacing. The average sand thickness per hole was 10.5 ft. and the size of the tested area was approximately 12.9 million sq. ft. With respect to frac sand, there are approximately 75 lb. of frac sand per cu. ft. It should be noted that there was one hole that was drilled through the 1-m thickness of clay prominent after 10.5 m. This hole encountered frac sand of unknown depth or quality. Future exploration activity is planned on this deeper zone of frac sand.