Hydraulic fracturing uses sand—a lot of sand—during the process of drilling for natural gas. The sand is a special kind of very pure sand called silica. It’s used to “prop open” tiny fractures in the shale so gas can drain out—hence it’s referred to as a “proppant.” Most silica is mined in the Midwest, in states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, so getting it from point A to point B for use in drilling can be expensive. Terminals are created to bring in sand by railroad and truck and to store it, making it less expensive.
Santrol, a subsidiary of Fairmount Minerals company, announced today they have just opened a new proppant terminal for Marcellus and Utica Shale drillers. The new terminal is located just south of Youngstown, OH—close the border areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. From the Santrol announcement: