Columbiana company will stockpile tons of sand for fracking in region
Sixteen months of work will come to fruition in the next seven to 10 days as the first load of frac sand arrives at a storage facility on Esterly Drive in Columbiana.
The current estimate is that the facility will be able to receive about 80 train cars filled with the sand, said Jerry Stoneburner, owner of Buckeye Transfer Realty, which operates the site. Frac sand is used to hold open the crevices created during the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process. Fracking is a process in which sand, water and chemicals are pumped into shale at high pressure to release natural gas and oil trapped within the rock thousands of feet underground.
The group is looking to bring about 20,000 tons of sand that will be used primarily within the Utica Shale, Stoneburner said. The sand that comes to Columbiana will be able to serve 80 to 95 percent of the Utica shale activity within a 75 mile radius of the site.
“We put in $300,000 and about a mile of rail spur and are gearing up to probably by the end of the month to bring the frac sand in,” Stoneburner said. “Trains are coming from Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois by rail, and it will come into our plants using the Norfolk Southern [rail line].”
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