It’s not the most common of professions but it turns out that being a frac sand hauler might be a pretty good gig. Take the case of Molly Sizer who holds this position. She drives her Peterbilt truck to one of the many frac mines in West Texas, gets it loaded with 50,000 pounds of sand, then drives 100 miles or potentially more to the frac well sites near Odessa or Midland, Texas.
“It may seem repetitive, but to make oilfield money you have to stay on the grind,” Sizer said. “Driving one of those trucks is a very exciting feeling, it makes you feel free, it makes you feel empowered.”
In the Permian Basin where Sizer works, the oil and gas industry is booming. This area extends from Southern New Mexico to West Texas. In fact, it is one of the largest oil and gas regions in all of the world. Typically, it’s responsible for 35 percent of United States crude and 17 percent of its natural gas production. This is according to statistics kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The Permian Basin is Thriving
The Permian Basin has become a hugely popular area for onshore drilling because the fracking process allows it to become profitable to produce oil and gas.
When it comes to the hydraulic process involved in fracking, sand is the main component. When sand and other materials are pumped into wells it breaks up shale rock which then makes it easier for gas and petroleum to flow.
Officials say the Permian Basin will continue to thrive for oil and gas production for at least the next five years. Plus, once the gas or oil is pulled from the ground trucks are then used to deliver it to ports along the Gulf of Mexico.
Sizer has been a frac sand hauler for four years. She started simply by answering a Craigslist ad. She had truck driver experience but not with moving sand. But what she found was there was great enthusiasm surrounding the job because everybody was making a good living – there’s money to be made. In fact, ‘sand pushers’ as they’re often called, can make between $60,000 and $100,000 a year.
Though the work can sometimes be dangerous, with lots of accidents reported, the financial rewards are worth it.