This Week’s Market Buzz

  • According to Media Corp, shale boomers’ efforts to stay afloat amid the worst of the price crisis were centered on cost-cutting and efficiency improvements. A lot of companies managed to significantly improve their yields of oil and gas per well simply because they started using more and more sand. All the major U.S. shale drillers are ramping up their sand use exponentially. EOG Resources is now making 700 percent more fractures compared to 2010, and it’s using massive volumes of sand to fill them. Likewise, Chesapeake put more than 30 million lb. (15,000 tons) of sand into its Haynesville shale in Louisiana, and plans to test a 50-million-lb. load (25,000 tons) later this year. The company views the amount of sand now being used as unprecedented to the point that it refers to it as “proppant-geddon.”
  • The Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA) announced that it has been named as an Affiliate of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health (TWH) Program. TWH is defined as policies, programs and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. The mission of the TWH Affiliate Program is to foster an integrated approach to protecting and promoting worker well-being through collaborations with academic, labor, nonprofit and government organizations. “We are excited to begin partnering with NIOSH on a variety of projects, including our embedded ideology: “Do the Right Thing,” and more recently our new MineFit program to encourage health and safety using the principles of athleticism to ensure workforce protection,” said Darrell K. Smith, PhD, executive vice president of IMA-NA.
  • According to Wisconsin Public Radio, felony misconduct chargers have been filed against a town board member in Jackson County, Wis., accused of profiting from the approval of a frac sand mine. A criminal complaint submitted by Jackson County District Attorney Gerald Fox alleges Alma Town Board Supervisor Theron Prindle violated state ethics laws for elected officials when he approved a developer’s agreement with Goose Landing Sand Co. a year after leasing property to the business. Records within the criminal complaint show the lease between Prindle and Goose Landing was signed June 2012 and the approval to mine was issued in December 2013. Prindle has said none of his land was involved in any sand mine businesses considered by the town board. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison or $10,000 in fines. A separate complaint seeks to invalidate developer’s agreements between the town of Alma and Goose Landing, now owned by Badger Mining Co., as well as agreements with Wisconsin Proppants LLC and Coulee Frac Sand.

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