Atlas Sand was one of six in-basin sand plants (various stages of development) that we visited in the Permian Basin in early-February. Like with our five other in-basin frac sand stops, our purpose here was simply to learn more about the company’s in-basin initiatives and document our observations.
We stopped by the first of two firm Atlas Sand in-basin projects – twin facilities are currently under construction. This first Atlas plant is a stone’s throw away from the Hi Crush Kermit plant, and their second is being built on a 60-day lag about 35 miles south near Monahans.
Aggressive Atlas land purchases starting in March 2017 resulted in a massive dune sand portfolio consisting of 14,500 acres with a further 23,500 acres of off-dune sand deposits controlled by the company. The extent of the Atlas land grab is seen by some as one of the limiting factors on continuing proliferation of dune mining new entrants.
Joining us on location were COO Hunter Wallace, CFO John Turner, and VP Ops Tim Stauffer. Tim is overseeing the construction of both facilities and will be overseeing the operations of both plants when they go live, in coordination with Atlas’s Kermit and Monahans plant managers. We took a ride with the team around the construction site, navigating seemingly endless sand drifts in the construction manager’s turbo-charged Can-Am Maverick X3.