Posts Tagged ‘Transport’
The job of Frac Sand Transportation is conducted by many different sectors of business working together. The three different sectors include the rail car, transloading stations and tractor trailer services.
When all three work in harmony together, the transportation of frac sand is done in an efficient manner and at the lowest possible cost. Each player in this cycle of providing the energy industry with this necessary raw material for hydrofracking and propane fracking contributes significantly to the over all process.
The rail cars and train service that picks up the frac sand at the supplier has the rail cars loaded into vessels that are designed for this type of bulk transport. This allows for the loading and unloading of the frac sand to be done easily and quickly without contaminating the raw material.
The transloading stations have the most complex part of this intricate of this process. These have to be strategically located near the final destination of the frac sand while still being on the main rail lines that criss cross the nation. Not every part of the country has transloading stations that can handle frac sand since this is a raw material that is only used by the energy industry in the hydrofracking of existing wells.
These transloading stations must also off load the rail cars efficiently and transfer the loads to awaiting tractor trailers in a manner that the frac sand does not become contaminated. This is usually done by the transloading stations having dedicated conveyors for the frac sand to be moved from the cars to the trailers. In an efficient station a rail car can be offloaded each hour per conveyer they have on location.
The last section of this transportation mechanism is the tractor trailers. These vehicles follow the short path to the final destinations which are the surrounding oil and natural gas wells in the local vicinity. In most instances the amount of travel time for these trucks is less than a day’s ride.
When all three of these industries are working together, the transportation of frac sand from the quarries where it is mined to the wells where it will be used to help extract the maximum amount of oil and natural gas from the ground can help to minimize the cost of the energy being demanded by consumers of the world.
The Frac Sand Transportation is a little known and thought about mechanism that helps to keep the total cost of energy for the consumers as low as possible.
Check out this video that explains one stage of the frac sand processing that takes place.
This video demonstrates the Sepro-Atalay’s ability to screen very fine dry material (-70 mesh) effectively. That patented VFE exciter creates the chaotic motion on the screen deck to allow for classification through the screen media. The application …
[Image courtesy flickr.com/Bengt]
The process of transloading frac sand is one of those types of transfers that go highly unnoticed unless there is a problem, or it takes too much time. What most people do not realize is that his is a critical step in the transportation of this vital commodity.
What is not apparent to most that observe this transfer of bulk material is that it has to remain as free of contamination as possible. This might be the same types of sand that is found on the beaches around the world, but it has a specific task that it will need to perform.
All frac sand that is in transported to the oil and natural gas fields in America are destined to perform an important task. This is to keep the fractures open during the hydrofracking and propane fracking procedures so the valuable energy reserve can be extracted at the well bore. Without this frac sand being present and free of contaminates, the fractures in the rock bed would not remain open allowing the recovery of the energy reserves to occur.
The reason contamination of the frac sand has to be kept at a minimum is to help prevent an unwanted reaction to occur so the intended task it is to perform can happen. It also allows the frac sand to be more efficient in performing its task.
To help minimize the contamination of the frac sand during the transloading of the material from the rail cars to the tractor trailers, a designated conveyor is used. In the stations that are equipped properly, there is more than just one. Ideally there should be a conveyor for each station that a railcar can be positioned into for unloading.
On average it takes 5 tractor trailers to transload just one rail car. The time it takes to do this one railcar is just over an hour’s time. Since the demurrage of each rail car is at no charge for the first 24 hours, it is financially responsible for the transloading station to perform the transloading of the frac sand within this time to minimize the cost of transporting this commodity.
An average load of frac sand sent by rail car is upwards of 25 cars. For this reason it is fiscally responsible to have up to 5 different transloading stations to off load the frac sand to help minimize the cost of its transport. 5 stations will be able to transload the frac sand of 25 rail cars in 5 hours. This will not only reduce the time required for the transportation of the frac sand to its final destination, but help to minimize the cost of its transport.
Transloading frac sand is more complex than it first appears to the casual observer. This is ok since the operators of the transloading stations know the tasks they have to perform and why.
- Transload Equipment for Bulk Sand (transloading.org)
- Railcar Sand Unloading (transloading.org)
- Why Use Sand with Fracking (transloading.org)
(Note: the image used above is of a transloading operation of a product that is not sand, however the process is quite similar. Thanks to Bengt at flickr.com for calling my attention to this and thanks also for the use of the image. Rich Hill admin.)
The use of Truck-Rail Bulk Transloading has been the main mechanism that large industry has used to move bulk items for nearly a century now. This business has transformed from a simple set of railroad cars pulling into town being offloaded at the train station to having specific stations to off load the bulk material used in the industrial business world to meet the demands of the US economy.
The reason for this specialized service have many advantages over other forms of transportation of the bulk items that include lower fuel and overall cost along with a reduced amount of emissions involved in the transportation of the material. In many cases the emissions have been reduced to transport the material by up to 90 percent and the fuel used is reduced by up to 50%.
The handling of the material is a big factor in the safety of the transloading of the material along with the quality of it. For large scale movement of bulk items, the need for specialized and dedicated equipment is necessary for this process to be efficient and to prevent contamination. This is only done at properly equipped transloading stations.
The workers at these transloading stations are trained to properly handle these items on a regular basis. This way the material can be offloaded from the railcars to the tucks in the quickest and safest manner possible. This reduces the demurrage on the rail cars which again helps to lower the overall cost of transporting the bulk items to their final destination.
A majority of the transloading stations are near major municipalities but not directly in them. This allows for industry to use these stations so only a short distance needs to be traveled by truck for the bulk items journey to be complete without having to deal with excessive traffic. This saves on time and fuel costs.
The overall purpose of the truck-rail bulk transloading is to make this hazardous operation as safe as possible while reducing the costs of transporting the items in a quality manner so no damage or contamination is experienced by the bulk items. This saves on time, money, fuel and reduced the amount of emissions that are produced when the transporting of bulk items is done by other means.
The Marcellus shale drilling has been going on for nearly a decade now with a positive recovery of natural gas and oil. These energy reserves are helping, in part, to supply the American public with its high demand of fuel needs that are being used to help generate revenue streams for the area.
The positive economic impact of the wells that are tapping into this energy deposit is larger than most realize. This includes all the supplies that are needed to extract the natural gas and oil. The only raw material that can be found locally is water. All of the rest have to be brought in from other parts of the country.
The list of raw materials needed to recover the energy reserves is vast. This includes all the piping, machinery, frac sand, and containers, along with the means in which to transport all of the supplies.
In America, the transportation system is already established that makes this moving of large and bulk items essentially easy. This includes the vast fleets of tractor trailers and the roads that they use to transport the goods to their final destination. The railroads are another part of this all important transportation system that is widely used.
The railroads are how the large and bulk items are transported close to their final destination. They arrive at the transloading station where the material is offloaded to waiting tractor trailers for the final part of the journey. These transloading stations are strategically positioned near the area that has the largest demand for bulk items.
With all of these involved with Marcellus shale drilling, it is beneficial to the local economy and the nation as a whole providing jobs, revenue streams and energy reserves that are made available by the energy businesses.
The sponsor of this blog is TRAN-Z a company that owns short line railroads that haul bulk materials out of quarries and sand and gravel plants, as well as serve as interconnecting lines to frac sand suppliers for the Marcellus Shale Drilling industry. They build transloading stations to accommodate the needs of contractors that work in the gas drilling business.
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