Engelhard Breaks Ground on Facility for Oil and Gas-Extraction Technology
Monday April 10, 10:08 am ET
ISELIN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2006--Engelhard Corporation announced today that it has broken ground on a multimillion-dollar processing facility to produce high-quality, high-demand materials that enhance production rates of oil and gas fields.
The plant will produce frac-sand proppants, which are hard, spherical particles that are mixed with a fluid and pumped into wells at very high pressure. The proppants fracture hydrocarbon-bearing rock to create channels where oil reserves and gases can flow easily. Proppants remain in place after the fracture job is completed, propping open the cracks and creating a highly permeable pathway for oil and gas flow.
Double-digit growth in market demand for proppants has outstripped available material supply, forcing suppliers to put customers on allocation. This trend is expected to continue for the next several years. According to industry estimates, more than four million tons of frac-sand proppants were pumped in 2005, limited only by available supply.
"Higher gas and oil prices have led to record levels of drilling activity, which has strained the supply of critical exploration and production materials such as proppants," said Edward T. Wolynic, Engelhard's vice president and chief technology officer. "Our entry into proppants represents yet another example of how we leverage our surface and materials science expertise to develop technology to serve a major growing market - in this case, energy production."
Engelhard's new frac-sand proppants facility in Sanders, Arizona is scheduled to be operational in the second half of 2006 and expected to reach full production in early 2007.
The company's entry into the oil and gas stimulation market also provides a springboard for future expansion into other high-value specialty materials used by the oil and gas services industry.
Engelhard has broad experience in servicing the energy sector, including enabling technology for petroleum refining, fuel cells, gas-to-liquids, syngas and natural gas purification.
Engelhard Corporation is a surface and materials science company that develops technologies to improve customers' products and processes. A Fortune 500 company, Engelhard is a world-leading provider of technologies for environmental, process, appearance and performance applications. For more information, visit Engelhard on the Internet at www.engelhard.com.
Source: Engelhard Corporation
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