NEW YORK, April 7 Whiting Petroleum Corp
is not concerned about access to large quantities of sand
critical to the hydraulic fracturing process and the expansion
of its operations in North Dakota and Colorado, Chief Executive
Jim Volker said on Monday.
For each well, the U.S. energy industry uses more than 3
million pounds (1,400 metric tons) of sand, known within the
industry as proppant, to mix with water and chemicals at high
pressures and hold open cracks in rock so oil and natural gas
Concern had been voiced within the industry in recent weeks
that key sand distribution points in Chicago and throughout the
Midwest were running low.
Volker said Whiting has plenty of access to the fracking
ingredient, and that he meets regularly with the chief
executives of oilfield service providers Halliburton Co
and Baker Hughes to review supply channels.
"I really don't expect any downturn in our frack sand
supply," he said at the Independent Petroleum Association of
America's OGIS conference in New York.
A few years ago, Whiting, based in Denver, had considered
purchasing a sand mine to guarantee a steady stream of supply.
"Thank God we didn't do that," Volker said. "We just didn't
Concerns about supply may be coming from much-smaller oil
and natural gas producers who do not have the same purchasing
power as Whiting, Volker said.
"They accuse me of hogging it all," he said, joking.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)