The first rail shipment of sand left the EOG Resources, Inc. processing plant in Chippewa Falls late last month.
Most of the first trains leaving from the Chippewa Falls plant went to EOG’s sand facility in Refugio, Texas. The company plans on one to three sand trains of about 100 cars each going to the Refugio plant as operations ramp up at the Chippewa Falls plant.
From Refugio, the sand is taken to a 610,000 area EOG site called the South Texas Eagle Ford, which produces about 53,000 barrels of crude oil equivalents each day.
“EOG has increased its need for sand as its South Texas drilling activities expand. The use of sand is critical in the economic development of crude oil and natural gas,” the company said, adding the use of the processed sand plays a role in tight oil and gas formations to help the flow of hydrocarbons.
“Having the facilities to provide self-sources sand for our operations was a key objectives for EOG this year,” EOG Chairman and CEO Mark G. Papa said in a press release.
“Mining and processing some of our own sand rather than purchasing it from a third party is one way to lower well completion costs in key resource plays such as the Eagle Ford.”
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EOG is one the largest independent crude oil and natural gas firms in the country.
EOG has mines in the towns of Howard and Cooks Valley. The mined sand is trucked to the Chippewa Falls processing plant. The company said it has hired 38 people to work at the plant. About 90 percent of those workers are from the local area.
“The total number of employees could increase by as much as 25 percent as the plant ramps up to full production,” the company said.
Outside trucking and mining contractors have hired up to 95 employees.
It is one of four companies either mining or planning to mine sand in Chippewa County. The other companies include: Preferred Sands, Superior Silica Sands and Chippewa Sand Company.
Eight current or proposed sand mines in Chippewa County cover 2,343 acres.