Preferred Sands opens facilities to serve Eagle Ford shale play

By Patrick C. Miller | March 06, 2018

Proppant manufacturer Preferred Sands LLC has begun commercial operations at its Atascosa County sand mine and facility in Texas to better serve the the Eagle Ford shale play.

Based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, the company said new facilities are part of a strategy intended to reduce the cost of frack sand and logistics to its customers in western and southern Texas.

“This opening represents a significant event within our continued, multi-year localization strategy,” said Michael O’Neill, Preferred Sands founder and CEO.

Combined with the company’s second plant opening soon in Monahans, Texas, O’Neill said Preferred Sands would add more than 6 million tons of capacity for shale operators in the Permian and Eagle Ford. He also said the company is committed to being the lowest cost-landed-at-well proppant provider for customers in the region.

The Atascosa facility includes a wet and dry plant and storage silos, as well as automated, multi-lane, drive-in, drive-out trucking capabilities. The plant produces 40/70 and 100 mesh local sand for Eagle Ford operators. It’s expected to produce about 3 million tons of frack sand per year.

Preferred Sands said the plant is substantially contracted by large oil and gas operators and service companies. It will also engage in some spot sales of proppant when it’s available.

Preferred Sands operates regional plants in Arizona and Nebraska, providing service to exploration and production and oilfield service companies throughout North America.

In 2015, Preferred Sands closed its Northern White Mine in Minnesota and sold its Blair and Bloomer, Wisconsin, mines in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company intends to focus on finer, local sand, positioning it for a multi-basin approach.