Natural Gas Powered Rigs On the Rise in Oil Fields
By Jeannie Kever
Apache Corp.’s announcement earlier this month that it will power an entire hydraulic fracturing job with engines running on natural gas was only the most visible sign of a change sweeping the industry.
Lyle Jensen, CEO of American Power Group, said his company saw orders grow tenfold between 2011 and 2012 to convert drilling rigs from diesel to a system allowing them to use natural gas.
Speaking this week at the World LNG Fuels Conference, Jensen said some companies like the security of knowing they can still use both fuels. But he said the technology allows them to reap the benefits of natural gas, including lower emissions and cost savings.
Jensen’s company supplies dual fuel technology to convert diesel engines, including heavy-duty trucks and oil field equipment, to run on natural gas.
Originally, he said, he expected the software to be a temporary solution until companies switched to full natural gas operations.
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