U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. and S.H. Bell Co. are planning a new silica sand storage facility in East Liverpool, OH, to support growing demand from oil and natural gas customers in the Marcellus and Utica shales, the companies said.

Plans call for U.S. Silica to ship barges and rail cars of premium Northern White sand to be used as proppant in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations from its network of sand plants. East Liverpool, located near the boundaries of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in Columbiana County, OH, is “an ideal location for distributing frack sand into the Utica and Marcellus Shale areas,” the companies said.

Frederick, MD-based U.S. Silica is the second largest domestic producer of commercial silica, a specialized mineral used as a proppant in fracking.

Earlier this year U.S. Silica and BNSF Railway Co. said they were planning to build a silica sand storage facility capable of storing 15,000 tons of sand in San Antonio, TX, to meet the needs of Eagle Ford Shale producers (see Shale Daily, June 22).

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) recently said it is partnering with Pennsylvania-based Smart Sand to supply Northern White sand to drillers in key North American unconventional plays (see Shale Daily, July 19). CP is planning several transload facilities in the Marcellus, Utica and Eagle Ford Shales, with its first project targeting the Bakken Shale.