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Fracking 101 for Investors:
Profiting from Proppants
Photo credit: Flickr/Damian Gadal
What are proppants?
Proppants are typically sand or ceramic materials
used by energy companies to prop open fractures
crea...
Proppants 101: Raw Sand
• High-purity quartz
sand is very
durable with
round grains.
• It’s crush-
resistant making
it a g...
Proppants 101: Resin Coated
• Sand or ceramics
can be coated
with resin to
increase its
resistance to
being crushed.
• Cos...
Proppants 101: Ceramics
• Ceramic
proppants are
stronger and
uniform in size
and shape.
• Provides higher
performance but
...
Ceramics vs. Sand
The uniform shape and size of ceramics provides maximum porosity. This allows
more oil and gas to flow t...
Proppant industry overview:
In 2013 energy companies used an estimated 56.3
billion pounds of sand for fracking. That’s 25...
Profiting from proppants:
This massive trend is fueling the stocks of
proppant producers.
U.S. Silica Holdings
• A leading
producer of
industrial
minerals
including whole
grain silica.
NYSE: SLCA
U.S. Silica Holdings
U.S. Silica Holdings
• Diversified as 50% of its volume is sold to the oil
and gas sector while the other half is sold to
...
Hi-Crush Partners
• A pure-play, low
cost producer of
premium
monocrystalline
sand.
• Structured as an
MLP.
NYSE: HCLP
Hi-Crush Partners
Hi-Crush Partners
• Predictable income due to its business model of
signing long-term contracts for its capacity.
• Visibl...
CARBO Ceramics
• The world’s
largest producer
of ceramic
proppants.
NYSE: CRR
CARBO Ceramics
CARBO Ceramics
CARBO Ceramics
• Focused on higher end ceramics.
• Ceramics can increase the estimated ultimate
recovery and return on inv...
Investor takeaway:
Investors have a number of options to profit from
proppants:
1. U.S. Silica is a large proppant produce...
The IRS is daring you to
make this energy
investment.
Fracking 101 for Investors: Profiting from Proppants
Fracking 101 for Investors: Profiting from Proppants
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Fracking 101 for Investors: Profiting from Proppants

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There are a lot of ways to profit from America’s energy boom, including proppants. Let’s take a closer look at this key ingredient to the energy boom as well as proppant producers Hi-Crush Partners, U.S. Silica and CARBO Ceramics.

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Fracking 101 for Investors: Profiting from Proppants

  1. 1. Fracking 101 for Investors: Profiting from Proppants Photo credit: Flickr/Damian Gadal
  2. 2. What are proppants? Proppants are typically sand or ceramic materials used by energy companies to prop open fractures created in the hydraulic fracturing process. Energy companies use high pressure to pump water mixed with proppants and chemicals as part of the “frack fluid” to fracture stimulate shale formations.
  3. 3. Proppants 101: Raw Sand • High-purity quartz sand is very durable with round grains. • It’s crush- resistant making it a great material for propping open fractures beneath the earth.Photo credit: Hi-Crush Partners
  4. 4. Proppants 101: Resin Coated • Sand or ceramics can be coated with resin to increase its resistance to being crushed. • Costs more but yields higher production due to better porosity. Photo credit: Carbo Ceramics
  5. 5. Proppants 101: Ceramics • Ceramic proppants are stronger and uniform in size and shape. • Provides higher performance but at a higher cost. Photo credit: Carbo Ceramics
  6. 6. Ceramics vs. Sand The uniform shape and size of ceramics provides maximum porosity. This allows more oil and gas to flow through the proppant and out the wellbore. By using ceramic proppants a well yields 20-30% in incremental production as well as increasing the estimated ultimate recovery of the well by 30%. This improves the value of the well, but comes with a higher cost. Credit: CARBO Ceramics website
  7. 7. Proppant industry overview: In 2013 energy companies used an estimated 56.3 billion pounds of sand for fracking. That’s 25% more than the industry used in 2011. Proppant volume is expected to continue rising, as well as the price of raw frac sand.
  8. 8. Profiting from proppants: This massive trend is fueling the stocks of proppant producers.
  9. 9. U.S. Silica Holdings • A leading producer of industrial minerals including whole grain silica. NYSE: SLCA
  10. 10. U.S. Silica Holdings
  11. 11. U.S. Silica Holdings • Diversified as 50% of its volume is sold to the oil and gas sector while the other half is sold to industrial and specialty products customers. • However, 72% of its margins is from sales to the oil and gas industry. • Dividend yield is less than 1%.
  12. 12. Hi-Crush Partners • A pure-play, low cost producer of premium monocrystalline sand. • Structured as an MLP. NYSE: HCLP
  13. 13. Hi-Crush Partners
  14. 14. Hi-Crush Partners • Predictable income due to its business model of signing long-term contracts for its capacity. • Visible organic growth with several construction projects underway as well as potential drop- down transactions with its sponsor. • Because it’s an MLP, units currently yield more than 4%. Targeting at least double digit growth in 2014.
  15. 15. CARBO Ceramics • The world’s largest producer of ceramic proppants. NYSE: CRR
  16. 16. CARBO Ceramics
  17. 17. CARBO Ceramics
  18. 18. CARBO Ceramics • Focused on higher end ceramics. • Ceramics can increase the estimated ultimate recovery and return on investment of an oil and gas well by optimizing the well. • CARBO is using technology to improve its ceramic proppants to increase the low recovery rate of shale wells. • Current dividend yield is 0.87%.
  19. 19. Investor takeaway: Investors have a number of options to profit from proppants: 1. U.S. Silica is a large proppant producer, but adds a layer of diversification that reduces its overall risk profile. 2. Hi-Crush Partners is a low-cost, pure-play frac sand producer. Offers compelling income due to its structure as an MLP. 3. CARBO Ceramics offers higher end products that are known to improve well economics.
  20. 20. The IRS is daring you to make this energy investment.

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