This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Workers for U.S. Silica Co. recently began building a transloading and storage facility off East Loop 338 in south Odessa, Texas, capable of storing 20,000 tons of frac sand to service the surging oil and gas production of the Permian Basin, according to OA Online. Company officials expect to finish the roughly $12 million facility – permitted by city officials the first week of June – by the end of the year. The facility involves a rail loop and storage silos.


  • Drug cartels in northern Mexico are threatening to forestall a potential fracking boom. In a recent incident in Tamaulipas state, about 30 workers for oil and gas company Weatherford International were caught in the crossfire of gangs feuding for control of the U.S. drug market, Bloomberg News reported. Gunmen rolled up in a makeshift tank and blasted the hotel where the Weatherford workers were staying. The employees were forced to flee under police escort. Mexico shares part of the Eagle Ford shale formation with southern Texas. But while developers have completed nearly 9,000 wells in Texas, only a handful of test wells have been drilled in Mexico, in large part because of the drug-related violence.


  • Hi-Crush entered into a new long-term frac sand purchase agreement between Hi-Crush Operating LLC, a subsidiary of Hi-Crush, and Halliburton Energy Services Inc., or Halliburton, which amends and restates the existing supply agreements between Hi-Crush and its affiliates and Halliburton. The new agreement increases the annual minimum committed volumes under the previous agreements, extends the term through Dec. 31, 2018, and requires Halliburton to pay a specified price for a specified minimum volume of frac sand each month. In addition, the new agreement provides for further significant increases in annual volumes dependent on Halliburton’s aggregate annual demand for Northern White frac sand. “Halliburton has been an important partner with Hi-Crush since the inception of our operations. We are excited to further strengthen our relationship with Halliburton by entering into this new agreement,” said James M. Whipkey, co-chief executive officer of Hi-Crush. “Halliburton’s commitment for these new volumes further underscores the demand for Hi-Crush sand as we bring on new production capacity this year.”

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