Tank truck operator Quality Distribution purchased Trojan Vacuum Services, drilling deeper into the hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” energy market.
The $8.7 million purchase will give Quality Distribution an inroad into the fracking market in the Southwest, where Trojan hauls water for energy customers.
“Trojan broadens our customer base and gains us exclusive access to disposal wells,” said Gary Enzor, chief executive of Tampa, Fla.-based Quality Distribution.
The hydraulic fracturing business, which extracts oil and natural gas from shale deposits, is a growing and lucrative market for trucking companies.
Quality entered the market last year, and reported $30.5 million in fracking-related energy logistics revenue for 2011, about 4 percent of Quality’s total revenue.
Companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” use a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to fracture shale, releasing oil and natural gas.
Although the process is controversial in many areas, fracking accounts for about 30 percent of total U.S. natural gas production, according to the Department of Energy.
Trucks and drivers are needed to haul sand, cement and water to fracking sites and transport crude oil and condensate as well as wastewater from the operations.
Increasingly, trucking companies in areas rich in shale deposits such as Pennsylvania say they are competing with fracking operators for drivers.
Truckload giant Schneider National launched a division last September to support energy companies extracting oil and natural gas through fracking.
Quality, a $746 million trucking and tank services firm, won a major, multiyear contract in 2011 to provide logistics services that will support fracking.
The purchase of Trojan, a $13.5 million company based in Pleasanton, Texas, expands Quality’s reach into the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas.
Quality is already active in the Marcellus Shale region in the Northeast. The company provides fracking logistics services through QC Energy Resources.