Solaris to build $40 million rail spurPublished: Friday, January 5, 2018 By: Sarah Terry-Cobo Source: The Journal Record
Tons more sand is coming to the Kingfisher area by the end of the month.
About 10,000 tons daily. Houston-based Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure is building the state’s largest rail spur and transportation loading center just 5 miles south of Kingfisher near Highway 81. Energy analyst Tony Scott said there will be more drilling in 2018 compared to the prior year, driving demand for sand in hydraulic fracturing, which is increasing, too.
Kingfisher-area officials said they were excited about the investment, which could be as much as $40 million. But they are wary of the increased truck traffic. Vice president of operations Landon Anders said the center is designed to reduce miles driven overall, saving customers time and money and improving truck driving route efficiency.
Solaris Chief Financial Officer Kyle Ramachandran told investors in August that the infrastructure is critical as Oklahoma’s STACK play moves from exploration to full-development drilling mode. The location was chosen because of its proximity to that play and the SCOOP, which is farther south on Highway 81. Those plays are just behind the Permian Basin for the most drilling activity in the nation.
The project includes an 8,000-foot train track loop, 18,000 additional feet of side tracks, and sand silos that can hold up to 30,000 tons. The Kingfisher facility is on 300 acres. The company signed a 30-year lease with the Commissioners of the Land Office.
Kingfisher City Manager Dave Slezickey said it’s a good sign that someone is willing to spend that kind of money in the area. Kingfisher Chamber of Commerce Manager Judy Whipple said even though it’s not in the city limits, it will provide an economic boost to the area as a whole. She said she was pleasantly surprised to learn about the project when the company announced it last summer.
The center will be able to unload a 120-car train in 24 hours. Workers will be able to load more than 10,000 tons into trucks in the same time frame. A sand truck can hold up to 25 tons, so that could add an additional 400 trucks per trainload.
Whipple said dealing with more traffic has been quite an experience. Her perspective is a bit glass-half-full, though.
“You have to look at all these trucks like money and jobs,” she said. “The majority of the oil-field companies have been really nice to work with.”
They contribute to local charities, to schools and to rural volunteer fire departments. She said it’s evident mineral owners are getting more money from royalties and from leases because there were larger donations at her church at the end of the year compared to the previous year. That reduces the annoyance of traffic, she said.
Slezickey said the expansion of the oil field has been good overall. Though there have been issues with more trucks on the road, the biggest challenge is oversized loads. Those don’t