Preferred Proppants LLC has commenced commercial operations at its Atascosa, Texas, sand mine and facility, marking another milestone as the company continues its national in-basin sand strategy aimed at reducing the cost of sand and associated logistics for customers in the region.
“This opening represents a significant event within our continued, multi-year localization strategy,” said Michael O’Neill, founder and CEO of Preferred Sands. “The Atascosa facility, coupled with our second local plant opening in the near term in Monahans, Texas, will ultimately add more than 6 million tons of capacity available to our customers in both the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. We’re excited to continue our record as an innovative first mover and remain committed to being the lowest CLAW (cost-landed-at-well) and highest production-enhancing partner to our customer base in all the areas in which we operate.”
Preferred’s logistically advantaged Atascosa facility includes a wet and dry plant and storage silos, as well as automated, multi-lane, drive-in, drive-out trucking capabilities. The plant will produce high-quality 40/70 and 100 mesh local sand for Eagle Ford operators and will ultimately produce approximately 3 million tpy of finished goods product. The plant is substantially contracted by large, well-known, oil and gas operators and service companies, which will be complemented by some spot sale of product, when available.
After closely studying data on proppant performance and comparing coarser Northern White sand and local, finer sand, Preferred led the industry shift away from Northern White. The company closed its Northern White mine in Minnesota in 2015 and sold its Blair and Bloomer, Wis., mines in 2017. Preferred’s renewed focus on local sand positions the company to have a unique multi-basin approach. This strategic localization strategy is driven by the company’s goal to drive down costs for customers.
These events continue a plan put in place nearly three years ago for the company to be the lowest cost-landed-at-well (CLAW) regional and in-basin local provider of frac sand in the most prolific basins in the United States.