Estimated shale oil and shale gas resources in the United States and in 137 shale formations in 41 other countries represent 10% of the world’s crude oil and 32% of the world’s natural gas technically recoverable resources.
Beneath the surface: Bus tours offer insider’s view of Barron County’s expanding frac sand mining industry
ARLAND — Creating hundreds of local jobs and often using local goods and services, those little grains of sand mean big business for Barron County.
Attendees of the national Gathering of the Orange Allis-Chalmers tractor show held as part of the Moon Lake Threshermen’s Association Threshing Bee got an insider’s view of the often-controversial frac sand mining industry courtesy of Superior Silica Sands and the Barron County Economic Development Corp.
People from throughout the U.S. and Canada took bus tours of a sand mine and washing and drying plants throughout the day Aug. 15.
SSS, a subsidiary of Emerge Energy Services, which also owns two fuel companies, has created about 450 jobs locally and recently purchased a building in Barron for office space, according to tour guide Sharon Masek, SSS’s Manager of Mine Planning and Industrial Relations.
She used the tours to dispel common perceptions of frac sand mining, including its impact on the rural landscape and roads.
“When people tell you the frac sand mines are ruining the roads … we’re also rebuilding them,” she said.
SSS is paying $6.2 million to reconstruct part of County Road P near Arland, she said, and will dole out more than $10 million for road construction projects this year alone.
The company also pays into a savings account on a per-ton basis so that, in a decade, it can rebuild the road again, Masek said.
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