The Permian Basin right now is being called the “Wild Wild West” by the organizations and people working out there. But why? Well if you’re not familiar with the Permian Basin, there is a large oil, gas, and sand boom. Wait, sand? That’s right, sand! That great stuff that we played in when we were kids, got buckets and filled them up with sand and water to make sand castles.
Why is sand mining booming? Better yet, why are we mining sand at all? Oil and gas companies are mining sand for the fracking process. Through the fracking process, these oil and gas companies are opening the pours of the earth so when they are extracting oil and gas from the ground, it flows faster and more smoothly.
What’s so special about the Permian Basin
Fracking to extract oil is not an uncommon process. So, why is the Permian Basin such a hot spot right now? We need to understand the size of the Permian Basin to better understand why it’s such a booming fracking location. First of all, it’s LARGE. The Basin spans from West Texas and runs all the way to South-Eastern New Mexico. It’s approximately 250 miles wide and 300 miles long. That is 75,000 square miles. That’s larger than the whole state of Washington!
The Permian Basin is the largest petroleum-producing basin in the United States, producing a total of 28.9 billion barrels of oil. It’s also the second largest natural gas field with a total of 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced. By 2023, it is predicted that oil production will reach 5.4 million barrels per day.
Before the Permian Basin turned into the mecca for oil and gas extraction, frac sand was primarily mined in the Great Lake states. However, drillers soon realized that they had sand all around them in the Permian Basin. It was just a matter of time before Frac Sand Mines started popping up all over West Texas. Oil and gas companies are no longer having to pay to have frac sand shipped from miles away when it can now be locally manufactured from a facility right down the road from most oil rigs.
The big question right now is how long is this going to last? Nobody really knows. If the oil and gas companies stay busy, the frac mining down in West Texas will keep producing! How long do you think it’s going to last?