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HOUSTON, Oct. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SLCA) today announced the delivery of a record-breaking 150-car unit train carrying over 16,500 tons of U.S. Silica White® frac sand from Ottawa, IL to a transload facility serving the Permian Basin.  The sand was delivered on the BNSF Railroad.  This unit train of sand is the longest ever delivered to a single destination on a Class-1 railroad.

Although the U.S. land rig count has declined during 2015 as a result of lower oil prices, large volumes of sand continue to be required as current completion designs for wells demand increased volumes of sand per stage and more stages per well.  It is estimated that sand usage per well has increased by 26% from the 3rd quarter of 2014 to the 2nd quarter of 2015, according to a recent report from PacWest Consulting Partners and that trend appears to be continuing.  As hydraulic fracturing techniques have evolved and more proppant is required per well, we continue to utilize our unique combination of speed, scale and strength to meet customers’ needs through our high velocity logistics network.

“Delivery of sand by unit train is the most cost-effective means of transport, which is extremely important in today’s highly competitive marketplace,” said Don Weinheimer, vice president and general manager of Oil and Gas for U.S. Silica.  “Our customers are seeking every opportunity to decrease drilling and completion costs.  U.S. Silica has plants served by all Class 1 railroads.  This, combined with our extensive network of transload facilities, enables us to deliver frac sand to within 100 miles of more than 80% of the working rigs in the U.S.”

The unit train, which originated at U.S. Silica’s largest plant in Ottawa, IL, took less than two days to build and was loaded with all mesh sizes, including 20/40, 30/50, 40/70 and 100 mesh.

About U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc., a member of the Russell 2000, is a leading producer of commercial silica used in the oil and gas industry, and in a wide range of industrial applications. Over its 115-year history, U.S. Silica has developed core competencies in mining, processing, logistics and materials science that enable it to produce and cost-effectively deliver over 260 products to customers across our end markets. The company is headquartered in Frederick, Maryland and operates on a platform of ethics, safety and sustainability. U.S. Silica is a founding member of Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association and has been recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) as a partner in the WDNR Green Tier program for achieving superior environmental and economic performance. U.S. Silica has also been named to Forbes’ 35th annual list of America’s Best Small Companies.