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Oilfield recovery in the lower 48 – that selection of contiguous mainland US states – could bring to the fore significant flaws in the last-mile logistics of the supply chain providing sand for fracking, according to this piece from Joseph Triepke in OilVoice.
While levels of available sand are currently high, Mr Triepke says that weaker links in the supply chain have been exposed, with customers saying they have had trouble finding adequate trucking capacity for the sand.
The problems are less related to physical truck fleets and more about a lack of qualified drivers and increasing well site complexity – and this latter issue may be even more important when trucking is available, with well sites increasingly difficult to navigate.
“Many truckers simply left the industry when volumes collapsed… Some frac sand trucking companies shut down. So as completions have picked up this quarter, trucking reliability has been put to the test.”
The good news is that last-mile logistics capacity has low barriers to entry and low costs, relatively speaking.