Tank truck fleets serving the oilfield couldn't busier right now. With drilling activity booming in oil and gas shale formations across the United States, the truck fleets that serve those operations are becoming stretched a bit thin. The driver supply remains tight, and long lead times for new truck-mounted and trailer tanks make it difficult to expand operations.
Drilling rigs can be found in or near the communities that dot the oil and gas shale formations. This one was in Joaquin TX, which sits atop the Haynesville shale. Hundreds of drilling rigs are operating in shale formations across Texas.
Tractor-trailer rigs hauling frac sand are photographed near Midland TX en route to a drilling rig. As many as 40 loads of frac sand are needed to frac each stage of a horizontally drilled well. A well may have 12 to 16 stages. The demand for frac sand hauling has brought truck fleets from all over the United States to the oil and gas shale regions.
Pump units are sprouting up throughout the oil and gas shale formations that are spread across the United States.
New production methods are rejuvenating older oilfields and generating new work for crude oil haulers. In addition, some of the shale formations are producing oil and natural gas.
The fluid from the hydraulic fracturing process is nearly 99.5% water and sand. To create productive natural gas wells, companies force fluid thousands of feet below the surface at high pressure to crack shale rock and release trapped natural gas. This extraction technique is called hydraulic fracturing. The fluid used in the process is made up almost entirely of water and sand. However, it also includes a very small percentage of chemical additives that help make the process work.