Frac Sand

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Frac sand gets its name from its use in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a completion method used by oil and natural gas companies to produce natural gas, natural gas liquids, and oil from unconventional, low permeability reservoirs such as shale.

It is a high-purity quartz sand with very round grains. It is very durable and provides a crush-resistant material used in oil and gas industries for hydraulic fracturing (also called “fracking).

Proppants used in the petroleum industry must meet very demanding specifications. The typical characteristics of high quality frac sand include:

  • High-purity silica sand
  • A grain size that is perfectly matching to job requirements
  • A round shape allowing carriage in hydraulic fracturing fluid with little turbulence
  • Durability to resist the crushing forces of closing fractures

It comes in various sizes. It can be as small as 0.1 millimeter in diameter to over 2 millimeters in diameter. Most frac sand used in oil and gas industries are between 0.4 and 0.8 millimeters in size.

Why Frac Sand Makes a Good Proppant?

After the surface pumps turn off, the fractures contract but do not close completely because billions of grains prop it open. This occurs when there is sufficient sand remaining in the rock to resist the force of the closing fractures.

It is known as a “proppant” because it props the fractures open by forming a network of pore spaces that allow petroleum fluids to flow out of the rock and into the well. Although there are other types of proppants available, depending on the type of well, frac sand often delivers the highest performance.

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