PGE and Universal converting frac engines from diesel to natural gas blend
WARREN, Pa. -- A partnership between Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) and Universal Well Services is converting a hydraulic fracturing operation from diesel fuel to a blend that relies instead on up to a 70% equivalent of natural gas, a technology that will benefit the environment, reduce fuel consumption and remove additional trucks from Pennsylvania roadways.
PGE and Universal are on schedule to convert by mid-February one-third of the hydraulic fracturing engines on a 16-pump operation that will be working for PGE, with plans to achieve a 100% conversion by May 1.
“The conversion of hydraulic fracturing engines and pumps to a fuel mix made up of 70 percent natural gas is an important milestone in advancing oil and natural gas development technology, and will provide significant environmental benefits as its use grows in the future,” said PGE President and CEO Douglas E. Kuntz. “PGE has already worked with Helmerich & Payne in developing a purpose built bi-fuel rotary drilling rig to use natural gas, saving more than 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel each day starting in early 2012. Applying this new technology to our fracturing operations will more than double that reduction of diesel fuel. Reducing the amount of diesel by replacing it with cleaner natural gas, produced right here in Pennsylvania, is something that will become more commonplace thanks to conversions like these. In PGE’s case, we estimate we will use 750,000 gallons less diesel fuel each year through this new technology. That’s fuel that can be saved.”
“The process of effectively implementing an engineered solution to allow for the use of natural gas in hydraulic fracturing while maintaining the torque and horsepower achieved with an all-diesel engine was a technical challenge our entire team embraced, and Universal is proud of its work with PGE and its suppliers to prove this technology and prepare for a full implementation with a 16-pump operation,” said Universal President Roger Willis.