Sand mining. Photo source: ©© MJM
To squeeze hydrocarbons out of shale through hydraulic fracturing of the rock, the process known as fracking, producers need to pump an enormous amount of sand (and other materials) into the ground.
Sand mining, causing erosion and run-off that can fill nearby rivers with sediment, and reducing oxygen levels for fish and plants, is currently booming in Texas, as drilling companies are demanding tons of it…
“Ron Jordan picked up a handful of damp sand as it cascaded off a broad conveyor belt, eventually bound for trucks or railcars that will take it to eager buyers in South Texas and around the country.
“This is the good stuff,” Jordan said as he fingered the golden-colored sand. “This is what everybody wants.”
The sand felt more grainy than the sand on your average Texas beach. It was beach sand, though, that two days earlier had been mined from sandstone formed from an ancient sea that lapped what was shoreline here more than 500 million years ago…
Sand dollar. Photo source: ©© MJardeen
Sand mining emerges as another fracking threat, Reuters
Fracking, the latest craze in the quest to produce oil and gas, has been blamed for environmental problems ranging from flammable tap water to minor earthquakes. Now a new risk is emerging: Sand Mining. Because, to squeeze hydrocarbons out of shale through hydraulic fracturing of the rock, the process known as fracking, producers need to pump an enormous amount of sand and other materials into the ground.