The global frac sand market was worth US$ 6.3 Billion in 2018. Frac sand is a naturally occurring type of crystalline silica that is processed from pure sandstone. It is used as a proppant in the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, employed widely by oil and gas companies to extract natural gas, petroleum and related materials by drilling rock or land, known as shale, with a pressurized mixture. This pressurized mixture consists of water, frac sand and various chemicals, which are injected into the rock formations to break open the fractures for the release of fluids such as oil, water and gas. Since the particles of frac sand are uniform with distinct round shape and small grain size, natural fluids can pass between them. It holds an edge over other types of sand since they are usually a mixture of various minerals and rock types, which are less durable than quartz.
A thriving oil and gas industry is the key factor driving the global market growth. With the number of oil and gas exploration activities on the rise across the globe, the demand for frac sand is also experiencing strong growth. In order to meet the rapidly increasing demand for petroleum and oil and gas worldwide, the technique of hydraulic fracturing is widely being employed by the oil and gas industry. This consequently is increasing the demand for frac sand as well since it is integral to the operation with approximately thousand tons of frac sand being required per hydraulic fracturing process. Additionally, the introduction of fine-mesh frac sand, which enhances the flow of natural fluid while they are released from the shale, is also catalyzing the market growth. Other factors such as its cost-effectiveness when compared with resin-coated and ceramic proppants, are also contributing significantly to its demand. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach a value of US$ 9.5 Billion by 2024, registering a CAGR of around 7% during 2019-2024.
The report has also analysed the competitive landscape of the market with some of the key players being CARBO Ceramics, Emerge Energy Services, Fairmount Santrol, Hi Crush, Source Energy Services, U.S Silica, Preferred Sands, Badger Mining Corporation, Unimin Corporation, Chieftain Sand, Smart Sand Inc., Chongqing Changjiang, etc.
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