The Best Frac Sand Storage Options
Frac sand is a crucial part of any fracking operation—it’s used as a proppant to hold open fractures in the shale during the hydraulic fracturing process so that the oil or gas can be extracted from its underground reservoir. It’s also used as a proppant in the production stage of drilling operations, where it helps keep fractures open to allow for greater production rates.
In this article, we’ll discuss how frac sand storage works, what factors affect its effectiveness, and some options you may want to consider when choosing a storage solution for your site.
What Is Hydraulic Fracturing?
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a method of extracting natural gas from rock. To do this, a mixture of water and chemicals is pumped into the ground at high pressures, causing cracks in the rock. The natural gas then flows out of these cracks and into wells that are drilled into the ground.
What Is Frac Sand, and Why Is it Important?
Frac sand is sand that has small, uniform particles and is primarily composed of silica. During fracking, the sand prop opens the fractures that form during the process. Because the particles are uniform, fluids such as water, oil, and gas can flow through the spaces between them. Frac sand is currently mined in several states. The Great Lakes Region includes Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, accounting for roughly 70% of the silica sand used as a proppant in America in 2014.
The right frac sand is key to productivity and cost control in any hydraulic fracturing operation.
Frac sand is mined and processed selectively before being transported to and within active oil and gas regions in large quantities. It is closely managed on-site with specialized equipment and personnel.
The effectiveness of frac sand is critical to well productivity, and the efficiency of frac sand logistics is critical to well cost control. Overall success is determined by the availability of the appropriate sand, its timely and dependable transportation to the well site, adequate storage in silos or containers, and delivery to the blender per the design.
Why Does Frac Sand Storage Matter?
The logistics of frac sand are extremely complicated but essential for the operation’s success. This complex, dynamic process is managed through four key areas, including frac sand storage.
Containers and silos are two broad categories of frac sand storage options. Containers are typically used for higher-volume jobs with higher flow rates (such as multi-well pads), whereas silos are frequently used for single-well pads and difficult well site locations/configurations.
There are a lot of advantages to using silos and containers for proppant storage. They’re easy to build, and can be expanded as needed. They can also be filled with proppant before the well is even drilled.
But there are downsides: both must be constructed before the well site is built, meaning you need a crane on site—which can be tricky if you’re working on a small well pad with difficult roads. Silos typically take up more space than containers do. Containers provide storage and transportability in one structure, but they lack the storage capacity of a silo. Neither of these will provide the solutions if you need a transportable, expandable storage structure.
Edge Innovation’s Solutions
If you’re a fracking operation, you probably know that you need to have metric tons of proppant on hand to keep operations flowing smoothly at the job site. But if your storage solutions are anything like the traditional silos or containers that have been used for decades, you may have issues with both long-term and short-term storage.
Edge Innovations offers a wide variety of bulk storage solutions. We understand that you need to store large amounts of frac sand in a secure, affordable, and easily accessible way, so we’ve developed a truss arch fabric building system that is perfect for this purpose.
This system uses three key components: the structural frame, the fabric, and the foundation. The design is simple to allow for quick construction and to eliminate the use of extra materials. It’s also easy to maintain, customizable, expandable, and easily transported from location to location.
If you’re looking for a bulk storage solution that offers safety, security, and flexibility, then Edge Innovations’ truss arch fabric building system is the perfect option for you. Our bulk storage structures are equipped with superior ventilation, natural lighting, and a heavy-duty steel framework. With a structure by Edge Innovations, you’ll get all of these benefits and more!