Analysis of Frac Sand Market Status: North America is the Largest Market

Frac sand is a high-purity quartz sand with very durable and very round grains. It is a crush-resistant material produced for use by the petroleum industry. It is used in the hydraulic fracturing process (known as fracking) to produce petroleum fluids, such as oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids from rock units that lack adequate pore space for these fluids to flow to a well. Most frac sand is a natural material made from high-purity sandstone. An alternative product is ceramic beads made from sintered bauxite or small metal beads made from aluminum.

Frac sand can be divided into northern white sand and brady brown sand by type: Ottawa white sand, also known as northern white sand, is composed of 99 percent quartz and is found in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ottawa white sand is used for its ability to withstand high pressure without breaking. This sand is rounder than other types of frac sand and thus can increase oil and gas flow through fissures made in the rocks containing oil and gas resources. The northern white sand has prominent advantages and occupies the majority of the market, with a market share of 77.16% and 77.73% in 2013 and 2017, respectively.Brady brown sand, also known as hickory sand, comes from the Hickory Sandstone Formation in Texas. The sand contains less silicon dioxide (SiO2) than Ottawa white sand, which is found in the Midwest.

Frac sand is mainly used for oil exploitation. The oil frac sand produced has the advantages of high strength, compression and wear resistance, high roundness, seismic resistance and good permeability resistance. In addition, it is widely used in natural gas exploration and other fields.

Prospect Analysis of Frac Sand Industry in Various Regions

After a period of development, the Frac Sand industry is in a maturity period, with a fierce competition institution. Companies are mainly from United States; the industry concentrate rate is relatively high. Top 3 companies are covering 33.76 % market share. They are Covia Holdings Corporation, U.S Silica, Emerge Energy Services Lp with the revenue market share of 17.72%, 9.42%, and 6.62% in 2017.

North America was the largest revenue market with a market share of 80.40% in 2013 and 80.25% in 2018 with a decrease of 0.15%. Europe ranked the second market with the market share of 7.70% in 2017. Also, the Asia Pacific, Middle East, South America markets for Frac Sand are expected to be the market with the most promising growth rate. Development of economy, increase downstream demand, technology innovation progress in emerging economies such as China, Saudi Araba and Brazil has led to an increase in demand.

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The increase in oil and gas exploration activities is expected to drive demand for frac sand. In recent years, in countries such as the U.S., the consumption of fine-mesh raw frac sand has increased due to technological advances and increased demand for petroleum products. Increasing demand is predominantly tied to urban growth in Asia, though it is worth noting that information on global sand consumption, particularly in emerging and frontier markets, is scarce. What is more, the increase of oil and natural gas exposure is another factor promotes this industry, also, the increasing innovation in frac sand operations has been promoting the growth of the market.

The average annual growth rate of China oil fracturing sand industry development market is about 15%, and the average annual growth rate of the total production capacity of enterprises is about 12%. As domestic oil demand continues to increase, the degree of dependence on foreign oil continues to increase. In order to meet the increasing domestic oil demand, the oil extraction industry has developed rapidly, and the corresponding product is the rapid expansion of related products. The price trend of oil fracturing sand is rising. With the expansion of demand for oil fracturing sand, oil fracturing sand production lines are relatively popular in Northwest China, especially in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Gansu and other regions.

In terms of the cost structure of fracturing sand, mining, transport and handing accounted for 24%, 36% and 40% respectively. In most cases, rail is the primary form of transportation to get sand from the mine to the transfer point closest to the well site and represents the highest post-mine cost. Depending on the modes of transport, distances traveled, and number of transfer points, the cost of white silica frac sand proppant may reach $170 per ton by the time it arrives at the well site.

The cost constraint of frac sand is large, with vast market

According to our research, the global Frac Sand market has a total sales value of 2682.10 M USD back in 2013, and increased to 5249.76 M USD in 2018. We made the prediction that the value of Frac Sand markets can be 9549.66 M USD by 2023. The CAGR of Frac Sand is 15.07% from 2017 to 2023.

Increasing demand is predominantly tied to crude oil prices and sales. What is more, the increasing innovation in frac sand operations has been promoting the growth of the market. Further, the report states that one of the major factors hindering the growth of this market is the backward integration in frac sand value chain. Frac sand suppliers are generally large in size and can integrate backward for he complex supply chain. Therefore, frac sand suppliers are investing in their own distribution system and acquiring frac sand logistics companies to leverage efficient integrated logistics services.

Although sales of Frac Sand brought some opportunities, especially in the emerging countries, the study group recommends the new entrants who has not industry chain advantage and accurate positioning of the downstream segments do not enter into the Frac Sand field. What is more, the company in this industry should pay attention to their R&D, keep on launching new product, keep on innovation and improving services, then they may get the competition advantage, and get a bigger market share.

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