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Halliburton shares were weighed down on Thursday after the US oilfield services group said it expects a hit to its quarterly earnings from delays in sand deliveries.

Halliburton’s chief financial officer, Chris Weber, said the company had been seeing sand deliveries delayed by up to 72 hours since February. The delays are expected to dent its earnings per share in the first quarter by about 10 cents, Mr Weber said during remarks at the Credit Suisse energy summit that were reported by Thomson Reuters.

Analysts had been expecting about 50 cents per share in the three months to March, according to Factset data.

Halliburton is a major provider of services for the US shale industry, including the pressure pumping used for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Sand is one component used during the fracking process.

Halliburton shares were down about 0.77 per cent to $47.50 in early trading on Thursday.

Earlier this week, HSBC Global Research analyst Lucy Acton warned in a note that extraction rates of sand, the second-most used raw material in the world, “are at unsustainable levels and natural renewal rates cannot keep pace.”

“Sand mining presents devastating environmental and social issues such as damage to ecosystems, water scarcity and illegal trade. Additionally, transportation of sand and gravel is a significant part of the supply process, both in terms of costs and environmental impact,” Ms Acton wrote.

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