Sands Application in the Energy Market

Approximately 25% of the sand that is produced in the U.S. is used for the fracturing of oil and natural gas wells (proppants), well packing and well cementing. The most widely used proppant in oil and natural gas wells in North America is sand. This has not changed since the first fracturing job happened in 1947.

The word “proppant” is a generic term that refers to the various types of natural and synthetic granular media that is forcibly placed into oil and natural gas bearing strata during the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. The material typically consists of well-rounded, spherical and tightly graded natural and manufactured products ranging in size typically between 10 and 70 mesh. In general, natural sands, depending on the strength and gradation, can be used in wells up to 8,000 psi.

Pioneer Sands' Brady® sand has some significant advantages over other sands. The most notable benefit is that the conductivity and permeability is higher than northern white sand producers at well depths of up to 5,000 psi. This is due to the fact that our Brady® sand has a higher percentage of course grains (courser than 40 mesh) with good shape and roundness characteristics within the deposit. Our abundance of course grains allows for more traditional bell-shaped gradation curves that are even between product gradations (i.e. 12/20, 16/30, 20/40, etc.) As a result, products from our Hickory sandstone formation almost always have a larger median diameter than the northern white sand of the same grade designation.

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