Executive Summary – Material Specification Laboratories
The concept of “fracing” is as old as the oil and gas industry. Every oil and gas well is fraced and there are currently over one million frac jobs completed.
It is becoming obvious that the market for frac sand is on the verge of unprecedented growth. Through extensive market research I have recently come the realization that there are several components coming together to create a “perfect storm”, more specifically, to the independent frac sand testing market.
The first contributor is the practice of re-fracing. There have been recent studies published on this topic. Currently, test data shows that by using a fine mesh proppant to re-frac wells, the wells are experiencing yields up to 700% production increase. Data from the 150 wells that were re-fraced showed enough production increase to validate recompletion practices. Saving money on drilling new wells in conjunction with increased economic yield offers an attractive option for production companies. Specifically, to areas of reduced productivity like the Bakken.
With the west Texas sand mines gearing up and coming on line in the near future, the northern sand market is taking a hit. Producers in the northern sand market will be looking to improve their products either through new resin coating companies coming online or research in raw sands to create a “cut” that compares to what is being offered in the Permian. Northern producers will try to push the re-fracing angle in the Bakken to create a need that is logistically attractive to oil and gas producers.
The following is an outline intended to bring this together in terms of importance pertinent to an accredited independent laboratory facility:
- There are currently a VERY limited number of independent testing facilities for frac sand and an extremely high demand for unbiased data.
- With an increase in demand for fine grade material, there will be a major push in R&D for sand, resin coated proppant, and ceramic. A large portion of R&D requires independent testing to validate new products.
The market of mining a frac proppant has been, at times, fiscally volatile and the industry has seen its fair share of fluctuation. However, one aspect of the market has remained in high demand… Every frac proppant producing company needs to have their product tested by an independent testing facility.