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“Sunshine pumping” and market exuberance key contributors to over investment, according to a new white paper from Westwood Global Energy Group released this week

(Houston, USA) Monday, 5th August 2019 – Research consultancy, Westwood Global Energy Group, has today launched its latest US Frac Sand White Paper1 outlining the current state of the proppants2 market with a focus on frac sand demand by basin, total frac sand supply, and last mile opportunities.  Critically, conclusions from the paper challenge many existing analyst views on market demand of the unconventional supply chain.

According to the paper, industry analysts over stated market demand contributing to over investment and 116% frac sand supply growth from 2017 to 2019.  Todd Bush, Head of Unconventionals at Westwood Global Energy Group, commented; “The industry must now face the consequences of “sunshine pumping” and market exuberance that occurred in 2017 and 2018.  Balance needs to be restored to the market with frac sand supply reductions.”

Key findings from the US Frac Sand White Paper include: –

  • Market demand for frac sand continues to increase, but at a lower growth trajectory in 2019 compared to previous years.  2017 was a rebound year growing 82% whilst 2018 growth was approximately 30% compared to 2019 at approximately 10%.  Total demand for 2018 was 84 million tons compared to 95 million tons expected in 2019.
  • Drivers of the frac sand demand are plateauing.  E&Ps continue to optimise completions, however the rate of change for proppant per lateral foot and proppant per well is stabilising across several basins.  Proppant per well metrics in four of seven shale plays are flat or decreasing.
  • Total frac sand supply is near 143 million tons in 2019.  Total market supply based on nameplate capacity is over 200 million tons across 118 actively producing mines, yet if we use the industry rule of thumb of 70% utilisation then the market supply decreases to about 143 million tons.

In conclusion, Todd Bush said; “Location, location, location.  Logistics and last mile trucking are essential to the delivery of sand to the blender on time and at a low cost.  There are seven mines within 50% of the Permian frac sand demand in a two hour drive time radius.  As core acreage expands and contracts, E&Ps and pressure pumper pumpers will seek the nearby frac sand locations to gain efficiency and cost savings.

For a copy of Westwood Global Energy Group’s US Frac Sand White Paper please email Todd Bush, Head of Unconventionals at Westwood Global Energy Group, at [email protected] .


Issued on behalf of Westwood Global Energy Group by Flourish PR Ltd

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Notes to Editors

1 This white paper is derived from the Frac Sand Outlook report, which is compiled using Energent’s proprietary database of the entire frac sand supply chain.  The report and maps are available for purchase as a single report, or as part of a subscription service.

2 The rise in horizontal drilling, multi-well pads, and high-intensity completions across the Lower 48 unconventional plays, led to a record level of proppant demand in 2018.  Proppant is a key ingredient used during the hydraulic fracturing process to prevent fractures from closing.  The most common proppant today is raw frac sand, but there here are different types of proppant including ceramic, resin coated, and raw frac sand.

In this white paper, Westwood’s US-based unconventionals team consider how this market has changed, why, and the impact of higher consumption and falling prices on the frac sand demand and supply balance.

The white paper contents include:

  • Recent developments
  • Demand
  • Supply
  • Methodology
  • Last mile drive time and cost analysis
  • Market outlook

If you are a journalist and would like to receive a copy of the white paper, please contact the Flourish PR press office.  Images are also available on request.

About Westwood Global Energy Group (Westwood)

Westwood Global Energy Group is a leading provider of research, data analytics and consulting services to the global energy industry. We focus primarily on intelligence and insight for the worldwide exploration and oilfield services markets. Our analysis is independent, comprehensive and based on deep sector knowledge.

Westwood Global Energy Group was formed in January 2015 by Energy Ventures, an energy specialist private equity firm with a vision to build a leading player in the business intelligence and data analytics space. Westwood Global Energy Group is headquartered in Aberdeen and has offices in London, Houston and Singapore.

To learn more, please visit