This Week’s Market Buzz

  • According to the investment website Seeking Alpha, long term, the market dynamics for frac sand are still in place. The amount of frac sand per well seems to be increasing for now based on the fact drillers are using more stages per well. As prices fall drillers are incentivized to increase the amount of frac sand they use per well to increase IRRs. Many drillers have shifted from a “total production at all cost” strategy to an IRR-focused strategy, which means they will likely keep increasing the amount of sand used per well. Short term, the number of wells drilled but awaiting completion may drive demand, but it is very uncertain if this will prove to be a lasting trend.

  • A majority of Pennsylvanians – 57.1 percent – are in support of hydraulic fracturing, according to a new poll by Robert Morris University Polling Institute. However, 60.1 percent of Pennsylvanians who were surveyed also said they strongly or somewhat agree with the statement: “The environmental impact of gas drilling outweighs any resulting reduced energy costs or energy independence.” Nevertheless, more Pennsylvanians said they would favor hydraulic fracturing in and around their own hometowns than the percentage opposed – 48.2 percent to 43.3 percent.
  • According to the Winona Post, Saratoga Township, Minn., citizens delivered a petition signed by 120 of their neighbors asking the Town Board to enact a one-year moratorium on industrial silica sand mining in the township and to develop an ordinance banning it. The township supervisors decided not to grant the petitioners’ request, but the petition organizers got more than some had hoped for: a meaningful discussion of how much mining township leaders want in their township and in the county, the pros and cons of township zoning and the legal implications of banning frac sand.

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