More than 200 people gathered in Pittsburgh Nov. 16-18 for Rock Products’ second Frac Sand Insider conference. Both the number of exhibitors and attendees exceeded the first show, held in Pittsburgh last year.
"We are extremely pleased with how this event turned out,” said Tim Fearney, show director. “Our exhibitors made some good connections, and the educational sessions have been informative and well-attended.”
The first day of the event featured a keynote address by fracking advocate Greg Kozera. He shared the misconceptions Americans have about energy, hydraulic fracturing, and the natural gas and oil industry learned on his recent national coast-to-coast radio tour for his new book “Just the Fracks Ma'am, the Truth about Hydrofracking and the Next Great American Boom.” Americans’ energy misconceptions can have a direct negative impact on the energy business. Kozera explained to the audience how they can fight back and take control of their future.
“We are not going to be able to run this country on wind or solar,” Kozera said. “Our industry has the potential to provide real jobs, tax revenue and energy independence. We have to be able to talk intelligently about what we do to get a majority of the country behind us. We have to be a team.”
Brandon Dobell, from the firm of William Blair, offered attendees an astute financial analysis of the frac sand market, including industry trends, market data points and valuations. He talked about what is happening at ground zero of the hydraulic fracturing industry, from the sand mines to the oil and shale fields.
Other first-day sessions included an overview of frac sand drying by Jeff Morris, Heyl & Patterson Inc.; a session on solids sampling by Glenn Sprenger, president of GRSEI; and an overview of misting technology to control dust by Mike Lewis of Dust Control Technology.
An especially compelling presentation was given on the geology of frac sand by Mary Ellen Benson and Anna Wilson of the U.S. Geological Survey. They shared the results of their year-long study to map the deposits where frac sand currently and in the future will be mined.
The second day of the event featured a transportation logistics panel by Richard E. Flynn, NorthEast Logistics Systems LLC and James Lind of McGees Rocks Industrial Enterprise; an equipment and technology panel offered by Alan Bennetts, Weir Minerals; Laura Hoggan, Rubber & Plastics Inc.; and Paul Brodzik and Glenn Geles, Derrick Corp.
Additional sessions covered underground frac sand mining by Dennis Dunham, DSI Underground; and a session on how to improve the quality and ROI of proppants by Ian Treviranus, HORIBA Instruments Inc.
Terex Washing Systems took the opportunity of the event to introduce its Fracstac modular frac plant to the U.S. market. According to Elaine Donoghy, marketing manager, Fracstac is the first plant to be designed as a modular unit to fit into overseas shipping containers.
The plant is designed for rapid deployment, and features an integrated control station with cutting-edge Hmi; has the flexibility and control to produce a range of gradations of frac sand; and offers increased longevity due to extensive use of rubber and ceramic lining.
Show attendees had good things to say about their experience at Frac Sand Insider. “Our folks were very happy with the event,” said Lauren G. Young, marketing coordinator for Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc., one of the 33 exhibitors at the event.
“This has been a good event for us,” said attendee Thomas Watkins, director of supply chain management for Universal Well Services. “The educational sessions have been right on target.”
Rockwood W. Bullard III of Michigan Mining said, “This is just what I have been looking for. I am hoping to extract frac sand from an old iron ore mine in Michigan and being here is good opportunity for me.”