A novel system has been developed to provide the transport, storage and delivery of wet (3-10% moisture by weight) sand for hydraulic fracturing operations. Pumping service efficiency and frac sand throughput remain the two key factors used to measure both a frac service provider's performance and an operator's need to maximize returns. Recent technology advancements in wet sand handling capability have been introduced to the market, which facilitates these operational goals while adding additional benefits such as improved ESG scorecard performance along with reduced cost.
This is the second-generation of wet sand technology, designed from the ground up with all new equipment and methodology. It is designed to enable varied storage options and incorporates improved flow capacity and sand metering capability. It has been extensively tested at sand mines and trialed on fracturing operations in multiple basins since early 2021. This system has proven to be a simple and reliable system for the handling and transfer of wet sand under a wide range of conditions and sand throughput demand. Importantly, this new equipment package permits multi-modal sand delivery and is a significant step forward in addressing the multiple aspects and challenges of wet sand delivery.
Delivering wet sand to a Frac Service Provider (FSP) blender presents challenges at every step. The first-generation wet sand systems in operation since 2019 evolved from containerized dry sand wellsite equipment and have proven very effective. However, after several years of operation, additional improvements have been envisioned that further facilitate the storage, movement and metering of wet sand. This paper explores the needs, methods, and benefits of this radically different second generation of wet sand handling equipment that will enable better, more reliable wet sand storage and mobility from mine to wellhead.
The benefits of utilizing wet sand have been well documented. These include significant cost and emissions savings, the ability for high throughput operations and simplification of the supply chain. Data will be presented illustrating on site performance, throughput and various delivery options along with quantified savings regarding cost and emissions. This novel system continues to expand new sand mine sourcing opportunities and improves storage capability. It also reduces equipment complexity, non-productive time risk (NPT) and onsite headcount, while improving ESG and HSE metrics throughout the supply chain.