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Canada: First unit train of sand received in the WCSB

Source Energy Services LP (“Source Energy “), and Canadian National Railways (“CN”)  announce the first unit train shipment of frac sand from Wisconsin to Canada arrived in the Grande Prairie, AB, region yesterday. The unit train, which consisted of 100 railcars, arrived at Source Energy’s recently-completed Wembley frac sand terminal, and was the first shipment of its kind in Canada. To date, frac sand has been shipped into Canada in smaller batches of railcars or transported by truck.

The unit train arriving at Wembley, AB, departed from Weyerhaeuser, Wis., on May 30. It hauled approximately 10,000 tons of Northern White frac sand that is destined for oil and gas wells in the Montney and Duvernay basins.

JJ Ruest, CN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said: CN is very pleased with this unit-train milestone, which will increase supply chain efficiency and enable our customers to improve asset utilization by reducing cycle times for their private car fleets to and from remote locations in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. At CN we are focused on origin-to-destination solutions that suit the needs of the oil and gas industry. The use of unit trains by CN has been planned as a part of this initiative, and our ability to employ unit frac sand trains in this service provides customers with the most efficient movement of frac sand available today.”

“Our first unit train shipment of frac sand into Canada with Source Energy Services travelled a distance of nearly 2,000 miles in less than 100 hours, demonstrating excellent rail car velocity.”

Brad Thomson, President of Source Energy Services said, “The ability to ship and receive 10,000 tons of sand of the highest quality sand in such a short period of time is important to the oil and gas industry. Unit trains will simplify our supply chain and make them more efficient. Today’s fracs require large volumes of sand and, as a result, we’ve had to rethink how we move our products. We’ve needed to figure out how to load, ship and store large volumes of frac sand that just a few years ago were unheard of. Source’s unique integrated solution addresses these concerns throughout the supply chain, ensuring supply to its customers within the marketplace.”

Thomson went on to say, “In addition to our new production and rail loading facilities in Wisconsin, we’ve invested heavily in the frac sand terminals that can receive and store hundreds of railcars of sand. Our first unit train capable facility at Wembley can unload over 100 railcars of frac sand in less than 24 hours and will be able to store over 50,000 tons of frac sand in one location. The Wembley frac sand terminal has more storage capacity than most companies have in their entire network.”

This magnitude of capacity positions the Wembley terminal as a regional hub and will significantly increase the amount of frac sand that can be moved into the Grande Prairie region. Thomson adds, “Combined with our other high capacity terminals, we will substantially improve the efficiency of frac sand movement in the Montney and the Duvernay plays. This is good news for the industry.”

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