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Atlas CEO Settles Permian Versus Northern White Argument


Hunter Wallace, chief operating officer at Atlas Sand, penned an article entitled, “Clearing Up The Erroneous Rhetoric Being Thrown Around In Opposition To Local Permian Sand.”

“In 2017, when in-basin Permian Sand (PS) was still an emerging concept, the conversation around adoption was at the forefront,” Wallace said. “However, despite all the questions constantly kicking up a cloud of dust, there was a very strong confidence just a scoop below the surface. By the end of 2017, just five or six months after the first PS had been pumped downhole, there were 17 plants which had either opened, started construction or announced their coming construction in the Permian. However, in the midst of this flurry of capital being committed a debate raged on.

“While the vast majority understood and accepted that PS would take out the regional Brady Brown players (sand quality was better, and costs were undeniably lower), the big debate was PS versus the long-standing legacy frac sand-providing region of the United States – Northern White (NW). This debate was not for the faint of heart either, both sides had a lot to fight for and a lot to lose, because every added ton of in-basin supply being built was adding a ton in excess supply to the market,” Wallace continued. “It was clear to those in the industry, following the industry, and/or invested in the industry that someone was going to lose; the question was who? Who was on the wrong side of this massive bet? The hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on PS plants or the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of legacy NW assets?”