• September 14, 2018

Pronghorn’s “Mobile frac sand warehouse” featured in Infill Thinking

Pronghorn’s “Mobile frac sand warehouse” featured in Infill Thinking

150 150 Pronghorn Logistics

The Infill Thinking team toured a Pronghorn Logistics wellsite and discussed their up close observations of the “sand as a service” model.

We [Infill Thinking] spent some time on a live frac job with the Pronghorn Logistics team. After talking with the operator and seeing the workflow on this multi-well zipper frac pad, the analogy that came to mind was that the operator had basically contracted a mobile frac sand warehouse for their job. Most operators that direct source tell us their biggest challenge is getting sand delivered on time, especially during big jobs. Sand logistics can be even more difficult for smaller operators with limited procurement resources and less experience direct sourcing.

Pronghorn’s last mile service is solution agnostic, although they do offer their own PropX fleets and custom trailers, which are driven by their owner-operators. Pronghorn puts three of their own staff on the wellsite (logistics coordinator, forklift operator, and blender operator), and they run the whole sand show. The specialization of their team (and institutionalized knowledge) ​drives ​optimization in the sand area of the pad. ​We saw evidence of Pronghorn’s expertise in frac sand logisitcs manifest in best in class sand efficiency from origin to blender and cleanliness on a difficult pad.

The Infill Thinking research team on a Pronghorn-serviced pad
(left to right: Mason De Lapp, Joseph Triepke)

We believe models like Pronghorn’s (described in the point above) are likely to accelerate direct sourcing adoption and activity among smaller operators as Pronghorn essentially acts as an enabler, solving the strategy’s toughest challenge. We see this one-year old outfit as an up-and-comer to keep an eye on. Pronghorn’s organization now comprises a 24/7 dispatch team based at their headquarters in Denver, multiple wellsite teams, a fleet of custom box-hauling chassis (that hold ~47,000lbs of sand per load), a couple PropX box fleets, more than 100 drivers, and over 30 full-time field employees.

This company is now past the startup stage in our view, and should be viewed as an early-stage company. They’ve chosen to stay out of the Permian for now but are active in the Bakken, Wyoming, and the MidCon. In addition to running the sand show on the well-site and managing the flow of sand from origin to blender, their “sand as a service model” addresses all manner of other proppant-related headaches. Some of the proppant problems that Pronghorn is solving for operators include providing contracting assistance and advice, reconciling paperwork and POs, and monitoring stage volumes and inventory.

Pronghorn Logistics Contact: 
Dirk Hallen 
(720) 739-7228