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BNSF to build sand storage facility with U.S. Silica in Eagle Ford Shale, serve expanded Musket crude-by-rail facility in Bakken Shale


BNSF Railway Co. and U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. recently forged an alliance through which the companies plan to build a new silica sand storage facility in San Antonio to support the rapidly growing oil and gas extraction industry in the Eagle Ford Shale.

The Class I and U.S. Silica — which produces commercial silica used in the oil and gas proppants end market — expect to construct a 15,000-ton frac sand storage facility by early 2013.

U.S. Silica plans to complete three to four shipments per month of about 10,000 tons of frac sand on 100-car BNSF trains moving from a Ottawa, Ill., sand mine to the new facility. The shipments will include three different grades of dry sand and resin-coated proppants from U.S. Silica’s new facility in Rochelle, Ill., which is expected to be fully operational in first-quarter 2013.

“Working with U.S. Silica to extend BNSF’s service into the Eagle Ford shale will create new opportunities for growth for the nation’s energy supply, for jobs and the economy,” said John Lanigan, BNSF’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Musket Corp. recently completed an expansion project at its Dore, N.D., crude-by-rail facility that increased outbound capacity from 10,000 barrels per day up to 60,000 barrels per day.

The facility, which is served by BNSF through the Yellowstone Valley Railroad, receives crude oil from trucks and a pipeline. Musket opened the crude-by-rail facility in the Bakken Shale region in 2008.

“The increased capacity allows Musket to deliver more efficiency to customers needing services from rail loading and supply chain management to price risk management and end markets,” said JP Fjeld-Hansen, Musket’s managing director, in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/18/2012