Frack-sand conveyor belt proposed in New Mexico

A frack-sand company in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico has proposed a more than 16-mile long conveyor system to move fracking sand from a Texas mining site to New Mexico.

The plan by Atlas Sand Company would move the sand in a covered overland conveyor belt system in Loving County, Texas to the proposed 140-acre loadout facility in Lea County, New Mexico. The covered line would stretch 16.5 miles and be at a site about 29 miles southeast of Loving, New Mexico which is south of Carlsbad.

The company is seeking a permanent, 70-foot-wide right of way  across federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and a public scoping period was opened until Feb. 4, where the BLM will accept public comments on the project.

 The project was intended to reduce truck traffic in the area, the main method of transporting sand to well sites, according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus.

The conveyor system could reduce the number of miles driven by sand-hauling trucks by about 47 percent, or 25 million miles, read a BLM news release.

“The project objective is to carry sand into New Mexico for use in hydraulic fracturing operations, by means other than heavy vehicle trucking, the current method to transport sand in New Mexico,” the release read.