2018 in the Rearview Mirror for Black Mountain Sand
Mid-year 2017, nothing existed along East TX-302 thirty-minutes west of Kermit, Texas except desert ranch land. Today, Vest and El Dorado, Black Mountain Sand’s flagship in-basin frac sand facilities, operate 24/7 to help serve the needs of customers throughout the Permian Basin. Constructed and commissioned over the course of just 10 short months, Vest and El Dorado now produce a combined 10mmtpa, loading out over 25,000 tons per day on average.
The official commissioning of Vest in January 2018 –– just one short year ago –– signaled the beginning of a monumental disruption of the multi-billion-dollar-a-year frac sand industry. Having aggressively moved to meet demand for a product offering up to $500,000 in cost savings per well, Black Mountain Sand is now the largest in-basin frac sand provider in the nation. The company’s combined production capacity across six facilities in Texas and Oklahoma is set to exceed 19 million tons – fully 16.5 percent of estimated frac sand demand in 2019.
2018 Black Mountain Sand Highlights
- January: the first commercial truckload of our flagship regional frac sand product, Winkler White®, shipped from Vest
- April: commercial operations begin at El Dorado
- May: Black Mountain Sand CEO Rhett Bennett speaks at the Hart Energy DUG Permian Basin Conference and Exhibition in Fort Worth, TX where he announces the company’s expansion into the Eagle Ford Shale with construction beginning on two new mines; operations are expanded in the Permian Basin with construction kick-off on fifth mine, bringing total Permian capacity to 13mmtpa
- June: Black Mountain Sand expands into Western Oklahoma with start of construction on its sixth in-basin mine
- September: Black Mountain Sand CEO Rhett Bennett is announced as a finalist for D Magazine’s Oil & Gas Industry’s Services CEO of the Year
- October: Sealy Smith (Permian Basin) and Dimmit (Eagle Ford Shale) begin commercial operations
- November: Black Mountain CEO Rhett Bennett is named a finalist for Chief Executive of the Year while Black Mountain Sand was named a finalist for Rising Star Award–Company for the 2018 S&P Platts Global Energy Awards.
- 450+ new permanent and sustainable full-time jobs created across three oil-producing regions (Explore careers at Black Mountain Sand.)
2018 Oil & Gas Industry Highlights
- The United States unseated Russia and Saudi Arabia and is now the world’s largest oil producer.
- U.S. natural gas production increased to approximately 76.9 bcfd from 62.8 bcfd a year prior.
- Feds discover Largest Oil, Natural-Gas Reserve in history.
- Testing began in West Virginia on new fracing techniques for natural gas extraction.
- Electric Fracturing Fleets gained in popularity among producers.
Black Mountain Sand in the News
Throughout 2018 Black Mountain Sand was featured in numerous publications covering the oil and gas industry. The following highlights many of the stories.
Posted on PB Oil & Gas on January 1, 2018
In a sweeping and disruptive move that in some ways pre-empts the huge sand suppliers of Wisconsin and other points north, the Basin storms into the sand mining business, bringing home what could be the lion’s share of this vital and ever-growing segment within the well completion industry. Read More…
The New Face of Frac Sand? Permian Startups Take the House Floor in Austin [Testimony Recap]
Posted on Infill Thinking on April 23, 2018
Hayden Gillespie, Chief Commercial Officer of Black Mountain Sand, testifies in front of the Texas House Of Representatives Energy Committee. Read More…(subscription required)
In West Texas, Fracing Companies Face a Tough Challenger – the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.
Posted on Texas Standard on May 11, 2018
Black Mountain Sand’s chief commercial officer Hayden Gillespie recently sat down with Texas Standard’s Natalie Krebs to discuss one of West Texas’s biggest challenges, the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL). Read More…
Tracking Sand: Miners Talk Permian Proppant
Posted on Unconventional Oil & Gas Center on June 8, 2018
A trio of frac sand mining operators took the stage at Hart Energy’s DUG Permian Basin conference and exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, in late May to talk about the emerging use of in-basin sand from West Texas sand dune deposits for hydraulic fracturing in the world’s most active shale play. They also discussed how they are working to meet the oil industry’s needs while addressing challenges. Read more…
Permian Basin’s new hot commodity was dirt cheap. This year, drillers paid $2 billion for it
Posted on The Dallas Morning News on July 10, 2018
Newly constructed West Texas mines will ship some 22 million tons of sand this year to shale drillers all around them in the Permian Basin, the hottest oil patch on Earth. It is a staggering sum of sand, equal to almost a quarter of total U.S. supply. And within a couple years, industry experts say, the figure could climb to over 50 million tons. Read more…
Worthless Just Two Years Ago, West Texas Sand Now Brings in Billions
Posted on Bloomberg on July 10, 2018
Backed by a private-equity firm named Natural Gas Partners, Black Mountain is the biggest outfit in the area. It runs two mines nestled up against a desolate strip of highway that stretches into unincorporated parts of Texas along the border with New Mexico. They’re called Vest and El Dorado. Both are just months old. And both are already cranking out sand at a pace equal to 5 million tons a year. Read more…
Black Mountain Sand mine planned for Atascosa County
Posted on the Pleasanton Express News on July 11, 2018
Black Mountain Sand has chosen to bring its sand mining operations to Atascosa County to serve the Eagle Ford Shale. The Permian Basin already has two Black Mountain Sand mines. They’ve chosen to begin operations here to serve the growing oil and gas mining activity in this region. Read more…
Finalists Announced: D CEO’s 2018 Oil and Gas Awards
Posted on D Magazine on September 11, 2018
Black Mountain Sand’s Rhett Bennett has been named a finalist for Services CEO of the Year for D CEO’s 2018 Oil & Gas Awards. Read more…
Meet the Shalennials: CEOs Under 40 Making Millions in Texas Oil
Posted on Bloomberg on September 12, 2018
After observing his family’s coal business as a child, Kentucky-born Rhett Bennett, 37, didn’t want to get into mining after graduating from the University of Georgia in 2004. So, he jumped into the energy industry and, after a few twists and turns, wound up right back in the mining business…frac sand mining. Read more…
Sand, Water, Logistics Shift into High Gear
Posted on EPMag.com on December 6, 2018
Other than water, there is very little in the world more boring than sand. Yet, both have captured the attention of the oil and gas industry for their role as crucial ingredients in the drilling and completion of a shale well. Read more…
Blogs by Black Mountain Sand
Black Mountain Sand also released numerous articles throughout 2018, helping to educate and inform on interesting industry topics related to frac sand and beyond. Here are the most popular blogs released by Black Mountain Sand in 2018:
- Will the Largest Oilfield in the World Soon Be the Permian Basin?
- Permian Basin Frac Sand Demand Skyrocketing
- How Fracing Changed the World
- Record DUC Wells = Frac Sand Demand
- Permian Basin Frac Sand Demand by the Numbers
- Electric Fracturing Fleets vs Conventional Fleets
Connect with Black Mountain Sand on Social Media
Black Mountain Sand also went social in 2018, building active communities on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you haven’t already joined the conversation, you can follow us via the following links:
As you can see, it was quite a year for Black Mountain Sand. We went from zero producing frac sand mines in 2017 to five producing mines in 2018 and working on our sixth. We’ve created over 450 new full-time jobs in the oil and gas industry across three distinct hydrocarbon-producing regions. Our frac sand mining capacity is estimated to equal approximately 16.5% of all frac sand demand for 2019. It’s a nice start, but more is coming in 2019…