For decades, Americans have been obtaining oil and gas through drilling techniques implemented in places such as Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela and Nigeria. These drilling methods have worked for us since the creation of cars when oil deposits could be found in areas close to the surface of the Earth’s crust. However, as more cars and machines requiring oil were being manufactured, these oil deposits near the surface have become increasingly rare and hard to find. With society’s substantial reliance on oil and gas, a new method of obtaining oil has recently turned the oil and gas industry towards a different direction.
This method, called fracking, is an unconventional method of obtaining oil from underground using a mixture of chemicals, sand, and water to break open a shale; a sedimentary rock, forcing the oil to seep out from underground and eventually filling the cars and machines that we use every day.
The Shift to Fracking
Because the ability to mine oil lies thousands of feet underground, oil and gas companies have shifted to fracking instead of drilling techniques that require scrounging for rare deposits near the surface. It’s predicted that the amount of gas lying in these deep-buried rocks can power the U.S. for generations.
In the U.S., fracking sites can be found in 21 states, including California, West Virginia, Texas, and Michigan. The actual mines are usually located near a stream or river since water is involved in the process. The location for fracking is essential to the process since the cost of transporting sand for fracking is almost always the greatest part of the cost for the entire process.
How Does Fracking Work?
The entire process consists of many steps. First, the silica sand is shipped out of state by unit trains consisting of 110 cars. Barges, which are flat-bottomed boats used for carrying heavy cargo and freight, also ship silica sand to the company docks where trucks pick up the sand and transport it to its destination. Once the sand has reached the site by the trucks, the sand is pushed into a specific place and position so that it can be mined easily.
Meanwhile, 200 trucks carrying water from nearby rivers and streams arrive at the site. A hydro cannon is put into place on the sand mine, shooting water at a high speed into the sand to dig the sand up. The water pressure breaks the small clumps of sand into a “slurry” filled with water, which is later filtered, processed, and dried to become refined sand particles. The refined sand is loaded onto the trucks to be transported to fracking sites.
Another truck, called the pumper truck, arrives at the fracking site and injects a fusion of chemicals, sand, and water into the fracking well. This mix factures the underground shale, making the oil from the fissures flow back out of the well. The water that flows out with the oil is stored in open pits and then loaded onto trucks to be transported to a treatment plant.
How The Sand Is Processed
The sand collected from the well is transported to an intake pipe where it will be processed even further at the sand mine. The hydro cannon blasts water onto the sand, which is drained and shot through pipes to the wet plant of the mine.
The wet sand is then transported to the dry plant, where the moisture is removed from the sand to create the final product. The sand is then loaded onto trucks which transport the materials to an oil or gas well, or the nearest rail station for far-away shipments.
What Is The Cost?
All of these detailed and costly actions can rack up a large bill, especially the cost of transporting materials and sand. However, despite this major factor, there is no technology that is currently used in the industry to reconcile the cost of such factors in a quick and efficient manner.
It usually takes anywhere from a couple of months to even a year to reconcile these costs, which ends up being a painstakingly slow and burdensome task. This not only leads to decreased efficiency but an increase in non-productive time (NPT).
How To Decrease Costs
This need for visibility of material and material movement in real time, however, hasn’t been unaddressed. TamsLive is a technology company providing software for users in the oil and gas industry to have complete visibility and real-time reports of logistics costs and material movement. It provides a solution for decreasing NPT and increasing efficiency so that companies won’t have to waste resources and wait months, or even a year, to reconcile any costs.
Unlike other technology companies, TamsLive consists of professionals who have worked in the oil and gas industry and have technical skills, allowing TamsLive to provide high quality solutions that meet the needs of companies in the industry. TamsLive is the only company in the industry that provides a software solution which connects the finance, supply chain, and operations sides so the entire fracking process can run efficiently.
If your company is interested in saving time, resources, and increasing efficiency, contact us for information on how your oil and gas industry business can utilize this software.