Science, Health and Technology
8:51 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Mo. plays role in fracking boom with silica sand

Missouri doesn't have enough natural gas deposits for the state to get much benefit from the hydraulic fracturing movement that has produced a glut of natural gas nationwide.

But it does have something that's very important to energy producers who engage in fracking — sand.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Missouri has vast quantities of nearly pure silica sand. The sand is in high demand among drillers who use the tiny granules to prop open cracks in shale rock and allow oil and natural gas to escape.

The so-called frack sand comes from a formation called St. Peter Sandstone, which runs from Minnesota to Arkansas. It's on the eastern side of the state, where companies like Mississippi Sand LLC are producing hundreds of tons of it each year.