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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Winona, Minn., city council decided against requiring air-quality monitoring at frac sand facilities in the city, according to the Winona Post. Instead of requiring monitoring equipment, city leaders decided to focus on creating new dust management rules – requirements that loading facilities be enclosed, for example – and on better enforcement of the rules the city already has. Citizen groups have been pushing the city council to require air-quality monitoring at the fence line of frac sand facilities in Winona since 2013.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Rangeland Energy is moving up to eight railcars per day of frac sand for Halliburton at its Rio crude-by-rail terminal near Loving, N.M., keeping alive a system that would otherwise be idled amid narrow domestic crude differentials, according to a report on Reuters. The midstream operator is moving as many as eight railcars per day of frac sand at the Delaware Basin terminal. In early October, Rangeland delivered a record 150-car unit train at the Rio facility, Patrick McGannon, vice president of business development, said at the Argus Condensate and Naphtha conference in Houston, Texas.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • More than 100 people attended a meeting of the Houston County, Minn., Planning Commission during which the commission reviewed a zoning amendment proposed by the Houston County Protectors (HCP), a group which opposes the establishment of frac sand mining in the county. According to the Spring Grove Herald, the planning commission voted 5 to 2 to withhold its stamp of approval for the amendment, which if approved would have altered the mineral extraction section of the county's zoning ordinance. According to HCP members, the proposal would: A) ban frac sand mining in Houston County, B) require non-conforming mines to come into compliance with local regulations, and C) update the county's procedures for handling mining complaints.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Rangeland Energy announced that the largest frac sand unit train shipped to date in North America has arrived at the company’s RIO Hub located near Loving, N.M. The record 150-car unit train carried 16,500 tons (33 million lb.) of frac sand and was powered by five diesel locomotive engines. The unit train originated in Ottawa, Ill., and was operated by BNSF Railway Co. The unit train arrived on Oct. 2 and was unloaded within 22 hours. The sand was stored at the RIO Hub and will supply an operator with a large quantity of sand for high-volume hydraulic fracture jobs in the Delaware Basin. Demand for sand in the Delaware Basin remains high, and unit train service provides a more cost-effective and reliable means of shipping large volumes of sand than manifest service, according to the company.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Now that the price of oil has dropped by 50 percent or more – down to $45 a barrel on Sept. 18 – frac sand production in Wisconsin also has dropped by 50 percent, according to a report on Wisconsin Public Radio.

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