Georgia-Pacific Chemicals on Thursday announced that it’s stepping up production of proppant resin, an important component of natural gas production, at its Lufkin facility.
The increased production of proppant resin, a coating for small particles that make it easier to obtain oil and natural gas, is in response to rapid growth of hydraulic fracturing in the last few years, according to a press release from GP Chemicals. By using the proppants, it is possible to get higher recovery rates of oil and gas, enabling oil and gas extraction from deposits that were impractical to tap.
“This expansion will help us capitalize on an exciting growth opportunity in the energy field,” GP Chemicals Vice President Michael R. Roberts stated in a press release. “It allows GP Chemicals to better serve our customers in this segment and to support the expected growth in demand for resin to coat proppants. This coating helps provide the proppant with additional strength and the ability to withstand stringent operating conditions.”
Proppants are used to prop open fractures made in shale formations to release natural gas, according to an article on FuelFix.com, an energy-related branch of the Houston Chronicle. The resin produced at GP Chemical coats the proppants, which are made from sand, ceramic pellets or other small items and, the article stated, “can be engineered to match the different chemistry and geology of the formations where fracking is taking place.”
Work on the project is already under way and should be completed by the fourth quarter, according to James Malone, senior manager of media relations and external communications at GP Chemicals. Residents can expect to see some light construction at the facility, but no major work will be needed to accommodate the increased production.
Though the increase won’t bring new jobs to the Lufkin location, other products and services could be added in the future.
“In addition to the work already under way at the Lufkin facility, we continue to evaluate additional manufacturing expansion in this segment,” GP Chemicals President Rick Urschel stated in the release. “The ability to maximize the recovery of oil and natural gas from U.S. reserves is a goal of the energy industry. This manufacturing expansion will help our customers meet the growing demand for products that can assist in addressing that goal.”
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