Light, sweet crude for May delivery settled down 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $41.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The May contract is the new front-month contract, and the settlement price is the highest front-month closing price since Dec. 1, 2015. Brent, the global benchmark, rose 25 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $41.79 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the highest settlement since Dec. 4, 2015.
Unimin announced plans to close its frac sand plant outside of Tomah, Wis., which will lead to 65 layoffs. The layoffs will be phased in over two months. Drew Bradley, chief administrative officer for Unimin, said the New Canaan, Conn.-based company hopes to reopen when the market for frac sand improves. Plans to relocate employees to other Unimin facilities is under consideration.
A ban on frac sand mining in Winona County, Minn., would be possible, but fraught with legal concerns, according to an opinion rendered by the Winona County Attorney’s Office.