Pioneer, Covia shift sand operations to West Texas

By Luke Geiver | November 15, 2018

Pioneer Natural Resources continues to pivot out of the pressure pumping and frack sand business. The exploration and production company based out of Dallas announced plans to transition away from its Brady, Texas, sand mine operation (which is located southeast of Midland, Texas) to third-party mines in West Texas.

By the first quarter of 2019, Pioneer will be sourcing sand from West Texas and by May of next year, 100 percent of the sand it uses will be from the region. The move will save Pioneer more than $400,000 per well. The Brady facility will wind down operations by early next year.

“Our Brady sand mine and other Brady sand sources have been an integral part of Pioneer’s success and were critical in our transition to horizontal shale development,” said Timothy Dove, president and CEO of Pioneer. “However,” he added, “new West Texas sand mines with their low cost of mining and proximity to our Permian acreage position have provided us a more cost-effective, long-term source of sand supply. This shift will decrease our costs, increase capital efficiencies and benefit corporate returns.”

Central Texas sand sourced from Brady or the surrounding towns has been the main source of Texas-sand for several years for operators looking to source locally and avoid transporting Northern White Sand from Wisconsin.

Covia, a mining and mineral company formed through the merger of Unimin Corp. and Fairmout Santrol, also announced plans to close sand operations in the Brady region. However, Covia will open two new sand operations in the heart of West Texas to provide in-basin sand operations closer to the production areas.