9/1/2011 8:24:00 AM Another Arland frac sand mine planned
Ryan Urban Chronotype staff
Another frac sand operation is surfacing in Barron County. Houston-based EOG Resources is in the process of forming a reclamation plan for a frac sand mine in the Town of Arland. The reclamation plan will cover mining operations on a 235-acre parcel of land along Seventh Street less than a mile east of Hwy. P, said Curt Parsons, general manager of shared services at EOG. EOG will lease the land, which is owned by Dale and Janice Degerman. EOG is also purchasing a 40-acre block west of the Degerman property owned by Thomas and Toni Becker and most of 99.85 acres to the north owned by Donald and Patricia Peltier. A small area around a house on the property will not be sold. Parsons said the properties would serve as buffer and be used for access to Hwy. P. He said the land could also be mined in the future. The properties, totaling nearly 375 acres, currently consist of crop and pasture land and some forest. Parsons said the final reclamation plan will be submitted sometime in September. EOG Resources is a Fortune 500 company and the 10th largest oil and natural gas company in terms of production in the United States, according to "PetroStrategies.org." The Arland mine would be EOG's fourth frac sand operation in the area. In Chippewa County, a mine is operating in the Town of Howard while another is in the public comment portion of the permitting phase in the Town of Cooks Valley. EOG is also constructing a large sand drying plant in Chippewa Falls. Parsons said Kraemer Mining & Materials of Burnsville, Minn., will be contracted to mine sand at the Arland site. Parsons said that there will be no processing plant at the Arland site so sand will be trucked to the Chippewa Falls dry plant by Chippewa Sand Transport, a new company founded to serve EOG exclusively. The sand would be shipped from Chippewa Falls by rail to EOG's gas and oil operations, which include reserves in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota and 11 other states. Parsons said that most of the sand will be used in oil production. He said some sand may also be trucked to St. Paul rail lines for shipment. "The sand we're developing is primarily for our own use," said Parsons, adding that some sand may be sold to other oil and gas companies. "We have long-term plans for the developing shales in the U.S. We're not developing [sand mines] just on bets a market is developing. We have a need for this sand," said Parsons.
Impact The Arland mine would employ six to eight people full time, said Parsons. He added that 25 trucks will also be used for transporting the sand. Parsons said it is standard for EOG to hire as many local workers as possible. He also said fuel for the mining and trucking would be purchased locally. Parsons said EOG is an experienced company with a good environmental record. He highlighted the fact that EOG Resources has been named one of the best 100 places to work by Fortune magazine for 5 years straight. "We think satisfied employees make for better employees and better communities as well," said Parsons. EOG once stood for Enron Oil and Gas and was a subsidiary of the infamous Enron Corp. Enron sold EOG to Enron shareholders in a stock swap in 1999 before Enron spiraled into bankruptcy in December 2001 and its scandals were exposed. "We were never considered to be a part of that," said Parsons. Parsons said EOG has used frac sand for years and began its own sand operations in north Texas in 2007. He said the company is opening operations in Wisconsin because of the quality of the sand. Parsons said the mining operation will be in compliance with all regulations. He said the mine will not need a high-capacity well because there will not be a wet plant on site. Berms will be used to screen the mine from view. The sand will contain 6%-8% moisture when it leaves the ground and will be wetted down and tarped before trucked off-site, said Parsons. "It's a hands-on, carefully managed operation," he said. Parsons said the trucking of the sand will also be handled safely. He said computers will monitor how fast trucks are traveling and braking. Parsons added that the trucks will be equipped with governors to prevent excess speeding. Chippewa Sand Transport is owned by Rands Trucking owner Bill Rands. EOG's mine would be the third such sand mine in the Town of Arland. A small mine is currently operating just off Hwy. P about 5 miles south of the EOG site. A reclamation plan has been submitted to expand the mine for Belgian mining company Carmeuse. Another mine near the intersection of Hwy. D and 8 1/2 Street is in the permitting process. The site would be mined by Procore Resources. - - - -