Oil billionaire Dan Wilks is going discount shopping. He’s buying up companies in the oil and gas space that are struggling. One of them is CARBO Ceramics, a company that provides a ceramic alternative to sand for use as a proppant in hydraulic fracturing. Proppants, for those new to MDN, “prop open” the fractures created during the fracking process to allow natural gas and natural gas liquids (even oil) to drain out of shale. A special kind of sand called silica, mined mostly in the Midwest is the most prevalent proppant used. However, CARBO has an innovated a ceramic substance–tiny little beads–used as an alternative.