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What Is Frac Sand?

Frac sand is a silica sand meeting certain specifications and is used in the production of oil and gas, most commonly from unconventional shale formations.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process whereby a mixture of proppant (such as frac sand), additives and water is injected down oil and gas wells under pressure. This causes the rock layer to crack. The sand particles then enter the fissures to hold (or prop) them open so that oil and natural gas can more freely flow up the well opening created by drilling. 

Specifications for frac sand include: roundness and sphericity, crush resistance and purity. The highest quality sands are typically imported into Canada from deposits in the US Midwest. Sands from Wisconsin have the added logistics advantage that the region is well supplied by rail networks and the Mississippi River which provides water transport to service unconventional resource plays in the southern US. During periods of high levels of drilling activity in the US, however, Wisconsin frac sand becomes largely unavailable to energy service companies in Canada due to robust US demand. By locating a plant in Canada, Victory Silica ensures that this premium-quality frac sand is always available to Canadian customers. The highest quality Canadian frac sand is derived from sandstone deposits, like that found at Minago (the lowest quality sands are typically younger and more angular dune sands). Victory Silica recognizes that customers require varying degrees of frac sand quality depending on the depth, liquids content and other features of the formations from which they are producing oil and gas. Sourcing domestic sands for processing at the Seven Persons frac sand plant (“7P Plant”) is also being evaluated, and will be executed on an as-needed basis in order to provide a diverse product offering.

Horizontal vs vertical fracking diagram


7P Plant Frac Sand Loadout

Horizontal vs vertical fracking diagram
Sand Silos At 7Persons

 

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