Exploration for oil, gas driving demand for silica sand

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new report says domestic oil exploration drilling is expected to cause "extreme" demand for frac sand in western Wisconsin in coming years.

The IHS Markit report says the value of proppant sand will exceed $4 billion this year and is expected to grow to nearly $6 billion over the next five years.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Wisconsin has historically produced about a third of the domestic supply of industrial sand. The report says continued exploration for oil, gas and the use of more sand per well are driving demand for silica sand.

Analyst Brandon Savisky authored the report. He says oil production in Texas’ Permian basin accounts for roughly 40 percent of the demand.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that domestic crude oil production will reach record levels in 2018 and 2019.
 

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