Frac sand storage is a critical component of the oil and gas industry. Without proper frac sand storage, companies can experience costly delays in their operations. That’s why it’s essential for oil and gas companies to understand how to store frac sand properly, as well as knowing how different types of frac sand storage, such as silos and tanks, can best meet their needs.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the best practices for storing frac sand, along with storage structures built for the job. Here’s what you need to know:
Industries around the world depend on industrial sand for their daily processes. From serving as a proppant for fracing operations to maintaining the structural integrity of ceramic products, the modern world depends on sand. This reliance makes proper bulk sand storage a top priority, as keeping moisture away maintains the sand’s strength and protects employees. Let’s run through the proper techniques for storing sand.
One of the most commonly used methods for storing frac sand is in tanks. This type of storage offers several advantages over other methods, including cost and flexibility. Tank-based storage systems are inexpensive to construct and maintain, making them an ideal choice for companies on a budget. They also offer great flexibility regarding transport and loading, as they can be easily moved from one location to another.
Frac sand storage tanks are portable steel containers built to withstand abrasive materials and maintain sand quality while protecting the environment. These tanks can hold thousands of gallons of sand materials and offer the following benefits:
Frac sand tanks are designed to allow easy access from multiple valves. They can be connected to pumps, filters, and vacuum boxes and are easily maintained.
Frac sand tanks increase productivity because they’re portable and go where you need them. This saves time transporting materials back and forth from storage locations and increases employee efficiency.
Storage tanks are ideal for protecting frac sand from the elements, but they’re also a good solution for storing various materials on a work site, like fertilizer, manure, and water.
Storing frac sand is critical; moving material is just as important. Pontotoc’s innovative system has a seven-minute turnaround time. Read more about our truck-loading process.
Silo-based frac sand storage systems provide a safe and efficient way to store large quantities of material without requiring regular maintenance and cleaning, like tanks. Silos are typically constructed from reinforced concrete or steel, allowing them to store large volumes of material like frac sand safely. Silos also offer greater efficiency when handling large amounts of material by providing direct access ports for loading trucks or trains directly from the structure.
Industries that use sand for their daily operations always need a significant amount, so storage silos are built onsite, and sand is loaded using one of the following methods:
Pneumatic systems move sand from delivery trucks to silos using compressed air. This was an early solution for storing large volumes of sand, but has decreased in popularity because it risks exposing workers to silica dust.
Frac sand producers require the right conveyor systems for material transfer and stockpiling, which is why this system is tailored to meet your specific frac sand demands. Compared to other methods, conveyors are highly customizable and reduce material handling which aids in preventing contamination. Conveyors produce a better performance and greater efficiency for your frac sand operation.
While silo-based frac sand storage systems are more expensive than tanks initially, they often offer better long-term value since they require less maintenance and cleaning over time. Additionally, silos tend to use less space than tanks while still offering high capacity levels due to their stacking capabilities.
Properly storing frac sand is essential for ensuring safety in the workplace and preventing costly accidents or injuries due to mishandling material. Before storing any material, such as frac sand, all necessary safety precautions must be taken, including:
- Proper ventilation
- Wearing protective equipment
- Utilizing spill containment techniques
- Keeping combustible materials away from equipment generating sparks or open flames
It’s also important that employees follow all company policies related to working with hazardous materials such as frac sand storage to ensure safety at all times.
In addition to following all necessary safety protocols when handling frac sand, proper maintenance must be performed on your storage system to ensure safe operations year-round. This includes regularly inspecting your system for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or dents in the walls or flooring, weak seals around pipes, loose fasteners, rust, or corrosion.
If any problems are identified, they should be addressed immediately to minimize further damage or potential hazards before they become an issue. Additionally, regularly scheduled cleaning should be done inside your facility and outside the building where flammable materials may accumulate.
Properly storing frac sand is essential for avoiding costly delays in operations while maintaining safety standards within your workplace. Whether you choose a tank-based or a silo-based system, understanding the different types of options available and their advantages is key to selecting the best choice for your needs.
Finding a bulk sand storage solution is important, but loading it with high-quality industrial sand is even more critical. Pontotoc Stand & Stone mines sand straight from the Permian Basin and delivers materials exactly where you need them. We use a detailed process that removes debris and verifies our products are immediately available upon arriving at your facility. Contact us today to learn why we’re a leader in locally sourced sand products.