UK silica sand resources for fracking

Mitchell, Clive ORCID: 2013 UK silica sand resources for fracking. [Lecture] In: Oilfield Minerals Outlook : Proppant prospects for Europe, London, UK, 30 April 2013. (Unpublished)

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UK silica sand resources for fracking Clive Mitchell, Industrial Minerals Specialist, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG Email: Silica sand is high purity quartz sand that is mainly used for glass production, as foundry sand, in horticulture, leisure and other industrial uses. One specialist use is as a ‘proppant’ to enhance oil and gas recovery. This presentation will focus on this application, particularly for shale gas recovery where it is more commonly referred to as ‘frac sand’ due to its use in the fracking process.# The UK has large resources of sand and sandstone, however only a small proportion of these have the necessary technical properties that classify them as silica sand. The UK has 40 quarries which produce approximately 4 million tonnes pa of silica sand. The resources are varied but most production comes from Carboniferous age sandstones in central Scotland, early Cretaceous marine sands in Norfolk and glaciofluvial sands in Cheshire. As there is currently no production of frac sand in the UK, and the prospect of shale gas recovery becoming a distinct possibility, it is timely to consider where ‘frac sand’ could be produced in the UK. This presentation will highlight those silica sand resources that may be suitable for ‘frac sand’ production. It will draw parallels with other industrial applications, notably foundry sand, which shares some common technical requirements such as particle shape and size distribution.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Lecture)
Additional Keywords: "Shale Gas" "Fracking" "Industrial Mineral"
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 02 May 2013 13:09 +0 (UTC)

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