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Oil and Gas Recovery
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Industrial Sand is also known as proppant, or “frac sand”, and functions as an essential component to the recovery of oil and gas for America's energy industry. Our members’ “frac sand,” is pumped down holes in deep well applications to prop open rock fissures and increase the flow rate of natural gas or oil. In this specialized use of industrial sand, whole grain deposits are used to maximize permeability and prevent formation cuttings from entering the well bore. The sand can be pure or resin coated but the highest quality sands are clean, dust-free, and remain more permeable regardless of pressure.

 Different sands are categorized for different depths and pressures: Class C sands show vulnerability at depth as they contain feldspar, yet they may be more efficient in lower closure wells. Class D sands are a versatile intermediate choice for most applications. Class E sands have great roundness and crush strength. Class E sands are the most expensive but also the most efficient non-modified sands at depth.

 For the deepest wells, with a stress range between 6,000 and 12,000 psig, the sand needs to be surface modified with resin. This combines silica’s hardness and its overall structural integrity to deliver the required crush resistance of the high pressures present in wells up to 2,450 meters deep.  At these depths, its chemical purity is also required to resist a chemical attack in corrosive environments. This formula allows the oil and gas producers to recover untapped sources of gas and, for the United States, helps make the country less dependent on importing energy. 

 In the United States, natural gas development has spurred an energy renaissance. The Department of Energy announced in June that American households using natural gas have seen their average bill decrease by $250 since 2007. Consumers reap the benefits of plentiful natural gas and the boom has resulted a substantial increase in the need for frac sand. With the proximity to high quality stores of frac sand, the United States energy sector has gone from a consumer, to a producer of natural gas.