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First LNG-Fueled Hydraulic Fracturing Completed in Eagle Ford Play
Rig Zone ^ | December 11, 2012 | Karen Boman

Posted on 12/12/2012 6:53:16 AM PST by thackney

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) division of Calgary-based Ferus LP successfully completed in October what the company believes to be the first-ever hydraulic fracturing operation utilizing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as engine fuel in North America.

Ferus' LNG Division was engaged by a major oil and gas service company in the United States to conduct the pilot project, which involved six dual-fuel 2,250 horsepower pressure pumper units, powered by LNG, to stimulate well performance in the south Texas Eagle Ford shale.

The dual fuel systems allow for natural gas and diesel to be consumed simultaneously with no decrease in performance, Jed Tallman, manager of market development for Ferus LNG, told Rigzone. Approximately 10,000 gallons of LNG was used in the pilot project, which took place in the southwestern portion of the Eagle Ford play.

While the company cannot discuss the plans of the operator involved in the pilot project, Ferus LNG has been contacted by numerous operators and service companies regarding LNG as a low-cost, environmentally superior alternative fuel, Tallman said. The increase in interest by operators and service companies in using LNG for hydraulic fracturing has been dramatic.

"Because of the large amounts of diesel consumed in fracturing fleets, the use of LNG as an alternative fuel will result in cost savings for the operator or service company, not to mention a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," Tallman commented.

"LNG offers significant environmental and cost-saving advantages and is quickly becoming the alternative fuel of choice for heavy-duty high horsepower on-road and off-road applications in North America," said Ferus President and CEO Dick Brown in a Nov. 28 statement. "We were very pleased to play such a critical role in this ground-breaking project, and we intend to be at the forefront of this growing industry as more and more diesel consumers make the switch to North America's abundant supply of natural gas."

It is difficult to estimate the specific size of the market for LNG in hydraulic fracturing and in other areas such as railroad transportation and trucking moving forward, Tallman commented.

"But given the economic benefits, improved emissions profile, and increased gas production, we feel that LNG will make up a considerably larger percentage of our domestic energy consumption in the future."

While the use of LNG for hydraulic fracturing is not being specifically done to alleviate criticism of hydraulic fracturing, the improved emissions profile of natural gas certainly is a benefit, Tallman said.

To complete this project, which marks a significant milestone in the adoption of natural gas as an alternative engine fuel, Ferus managed the entire supply chain on behalf of its client including LNG supply, transportation, and on-site storage and vaporization using specialized equipment and highly-trained personnel.

In addition to being a cleaner-burning and less expensive fuel alternative, LNG is non-toxic, non-combustible, non-flammable as a liquid, and dissipates into the atmosphere in the event of a leak or a spill, making it safer than diesel and gasoline, the company said in a statement.

The use of LNG requires specialized fuel handling equipment and additional training for individuals involved in the LNG supply chain.

"As a leading provider of cryogenic liquids for the energy sector, Ferus is uniquely qualified for the undertaking," Tallman said.

The increased use of natural gas to fuel not only hydraulic fracturing but transportation has grown thanks to the abundance of shale gas in the United States.

The use of natural gas over diesel is becoming more widespread, likely due to the cost benefits associated with fuel switching, according to a Nov. 28 analyst report from GHS Research. GHS referenced Baker Hughes' Nov. 26 announcement that it would convert a fleet of its Rhino hydraulic fracturing units to bifuel pumps as a way to improve operational efficiency, lower costs and reduce health, safety and environment impacts. Bifuel is a mix of gas and diesel.

The new pumps use a mixture of gas and diesel, reducing diesel use by up to 65 percent with no loss of hydraulic horsepower. The converted fleet, which meets all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards, can also reduce a number of emissions including nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and particulate matter.

Baker Hughes first converted a small fleet of its units in Canada; the success Baker Hughes saw with this endeavor prompted to company to convert an entire fleet in the United States. The company is converting several more fleets of Rhino trucks to Rhino Bifuel equipment. Baker Hughes also has a test program in Oklahoma, where a number of light-duty vehicles have been converted to natural gas.

Westport Innovations, which manufactures natural gas-powered truck engines, recently reported it is building a railroad locomotive engine that can run on LNG. During 2012, the company saw "broad consensus" for the first time that natural gas will take material market share in every global transportation market within the next five years, said David Demers, chief executive officer for Westport, during the company's third quarter 2012 earnings update Nov. 8.

Demers noted that consensus suggests that the company will see 7 percent to 15 percent of the North American trucking industry run on natural gas in 2017.

Westport Innovations will also introduce new natural gas-powered versions of the Ford F-450 and F-550 Super Duty trucks in mid-2013, the company said in a Dec. 3 statement.

"Although current demand for natural gas used in vehicles is minor relative to the demand associated with power generation, industry and residential heating, it is catching on and may soon reach a tipping a point where growth rapidly accelerates, with or without government intervention," GHS reported.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: eagleford; energy; fracking; lng
Note: LNG was not pumped as the fluid used underground to create the cracks.

LNG and diesel were used to fuel the pumps that pressurized the Water/Sand/Chemical mixture that was pumped downhole.

1 posted on 12/12/2012 6:53:30 AM PST by thackney
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To: thackney

CAT also has a partnership with WPRT.

- I wonder if these pumping engines used CAT engines with WPRT fuel systems?

Anyone?


2 posted on 12/12/2012 7:09:00 AM PST by Triple (Socialism denies people the right to the fruits of their labor, and is as abhorrent as slavery)
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To: Triple

Cummins QSK50

http://hhpinsight.com/epoperations/2012/11/ferus-lng-for-frack-engines/


3 posted on 12/12/2012 7:15:23 AM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: nascarnation; All

Thanks for that. Looks like Ferus wasn’t first.

- - - - - -

Separately this week, Houston-based Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said that its Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations subsidiary has converted a fleet of its Rhino brand hydraulic fracturing units to bifuel (dual fuel) pumps, and that it recently completed a hydraulic fracturing job in the Eagle Ford Shale for Cheyenne Petroleum.

Pierce Dehring of Baker Hughes outlined a QSK50 conversion program at late September’s BBP Summit in Houston.

Baker Hughes had by then converted four units in Canada using two different conversion systems, and ten units in the U.S. with ComAp kits, which according to Dehring were fully commissioned and job ready. A job was to commence in early October, he said.

Dehring said that a typical South Texas fracking operation could consume 6,000 gallons of diesel per day, with each engine consuming as much as 110 gallons of diesel per hour. The dual fuel conversions “easily” displaced 60% of the diesel with LNG. Baker Hughes cited 65% displacement at the Eagle Ford shale in its release this week.


4 posted on 12/12/2012 7:25:00 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

“Note: LNG was not pumped as the fluid used underground to create the cracks.”

That was what I first thought when I read the headline. I didn’t figure it out until about the third paragraph, then it all made sense.

Thackney, one reason I love your posts: My neice’s husband sells drilling mud and other drilling materials to the operators down in Eagle Ford. Great guy. Your posts allow me to have a halfway intelligent conversation with him. He says there is another play in strata even deeper in Eagle Ford, but the technology to tap into it on a commerical scale isn’t there yet.


5 posted on 12/12/2012 7:35:11 AM PST by henkster ("The people who count the votes decide everything." -Joseph Stalin)
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To: henkster
but the technology to tap into it on a commerical scale isn’t there yet

I would suspect economics mostly. But technology advance bring unreachable economics closer to grasp. Just as a decade or so ago did for Eagle Ford, Bakken and others.

6 posted on 12/12/2012 7:40:07 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: henkster

Colby Williford is vice president of land with Momentum Oil & Gas in Houston, a company focused on geologic formations that run deeper than the Eagle Ford, including the Edwards Limestone, Glen Rose Limestone and Pearsall Formation.

He said the leasing for those formations involved blocks of land already leased for Eagle Ford production.

“Everybody was leased. You couldn’t just look at the courthouse and find the landowner that wasn’t leased. We looked for deep rights that had expired,” Williford said. “There’s multiple ways for deep rights to drop off and other rights to come open.”

http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Producers-watch-the-clock-in-Eagle-Ford-4082310.php


7 posted on 12/12/2012 7:42:18 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

That’s interesting. Whoever owns the lease on the current strata probably also got the lease for the deeper strata. As an attorney, I should have considered that angle. So when the top strata plays out, the drilling companies can just go deeper without having to haggle over the rights.

Question: could they use the current well shafts and just drill them deeper, or would they have to drill an entirely new shaft?


8 posted on 12/12/2012 7:48:41 AM PST by henkster ("The people who count the votes decide everything." -Joseph Stalin)
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To: thackney

And guess who controls these leases? Obama. He’s going to use this “carrot” to reward his cronies. Big money, big oil is on the horizon in the US.


9 posted on 12/12/2012 7:53:07 AM PST by sarasota
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To: henkster
Whoever owns the lease on the current strata probably also got the lease for the deeper strata.

On an older lease almost certainly. Newer leases are more likely to be depth or even field limited. We have done that ourselves.

Question: could they use the current well shafts and just drill them deeper, or would they have to drill an entirely new shaft?

While it is technically feasible to put multi-laterals with perforations at different fields at different levels, it introduces complications not likely worth the savings in trying to produce oil from separate fields in the same well bore.

More likely would be a separate well that allows measurement and the like from each individual field, but put in the same area to share surface equipment and lower maintenance costs.

We do that on the Alaskan North Slope. Add a well 25~40 feet away with separate valving and ability to measure individually the production flow from each field. Then manifold the output together for separation, treatment and shipping of the oil.

Reservoir management can be an art-form to do it very well. Taking the chance of stranding oil or not maximizing production rates can be far more costly than the price of drilling a second well.

10 posted on 12/12/2012 7:58:07 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney
Westport Innovations, which manufactures natural gas-powered truck engines, recently reported it is building a railroad locomotive engine that can run on LNG. During 2012, the company saw "broad consensus" for the first time that natural gas will take material market share in every global transportation market within the next five years, said David Demers, chief executive officer for Westport, during the company's third quarter 2012 earnings update Nov. 8.

Westport Innovations, (WPRT), bought 200 shares a month ago.

11 posted on 12/12/2012 8:01:51 AM PST by TruthWillWin (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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To: sarasota
And guess who controls these leases? Obama

No. The Eagle-Ford field is in Texas, with a bit crossing into Mexico. The Texas portion is almost entirely private land leases. Lots of big acreage ranches through this area.


12 posted on 12/12/2012 8:01:57 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney
Westport Innovations, which manufactures natural gas-powered truck engines, recently reported it is building a railroad locomotive engine that can run on LNG. During 2012, the company saw "broad consensus" for the first time that natural gas will take material market share in every global transportation market within the next five years, said David Demers, chief executive officer for Westport, during the company's third quarter 2012 earnings update Nov. 8.

Westport Innovations, (WPRT), bought 200 shares a month ago.

13 posted on 12/12/2012 8:02:13 AM PST by TruthWillWin (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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To: henkster
So when the top strata plays out, the drilling companies can just go deeper without having to haggle over the rights.

In the absence of a vertical severance provision in the original lease, yes. However, if the lease did contain a vertical severance, where the lease expires as to all rights lying 100' below the base of the deepest producing formation at the end of the primary term, then those deep rights would be open and available for lease.

Question: could they use the current well shafts and just drill them deeper, or would they have to drill an entirely new shaft?

If the original wellbore is no longer producing, they can re-enter it and deepen the well to exploit deeper objectives. Assuming, of course, that somebody hasn't dropped some junk in the hole that makes that effort problematic. If that has happened, they could enter the old wellbore at the surface and sidetrack the well above the junk to reach the objective, or they could just drill a new well.
14 posted on 12/12/2012 8:03:59 AM PST by Milton Miteybad (I am Jim Thompson. {Really.})
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To: thackney

Thanks. Didn’t realize the lands are private.


15 posted on 12/12/2012 8:09:55 AM PST by sarasota
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To: sarasota

The main reason the production from places like the Bakken and Eagle Ford are fast climbing is they are mostly private lands.


16 posted on 12/12/2012 8:12:36 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Makes sense.


17 posted on 12/12/2012 8:29:42 AM PST by sarasota
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To: TruthWillWin

I understand that the infrastructure isn’t in place to build the engines, but perhaps the five year window will make it a reality. ?


18 posted on 12/12/2012 8:35:55 AM PST by sarasota
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To: thackney; sarasota

Lots of federal land in the Bakken area, BLM land, national grasslands and of course T Roosevelt National Park.

Last I heard, and this was within the past year, there was ONE drilling rig on federal ground.

That was just something I picked up in a business meeting, maybe outdated scuttlebutt by now, but the point remains that virtually nothing is taking place on federal land.


19 posted on 12/12/2012 8:37:21 AM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: TruthWillWin

Analysts at NASDAQ are bullish and put the price at $38 within a year. Thanks for the tip.


20 posted on 12/12/2012 8:41:40 AM PST by sarasota
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To: Fightin Whitey

I have a hunch that is going to change.


21 posted on 12/12/2012 8:47:24 AM PST by sarasota
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To: sarasota

What are your thoughts?


22 posted on 12/12/2012 8:50:49 AM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: sarasota
Infrastructure for LNG refueling is an issue. Currently conversions to LNG for vehicles are being done mostly to fleets that operate locally (waste management trucks for example).

Recently Ford entered into an agreement with WPRT to convert to LNG usage for their F450, F550 trucks. Many intercity buses will soon be converted to LNG. LNG is cheaper and only has about 1/2 of the emissions of diesel/gas.

As refueling infrastructure grows so should the stock.

23 posted on 12/12/2012 8:53:30 AM PST by TruthWillWin (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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To: Fightin Whitey

Just testing the waters with some research and have been getting google alerts which indicate that oil shale is on the horizon as the Next Big Thing. Some even speculate that this industry will make Obama look like the hand that moved this along, creating jobs and grabbing expired leases to have government control. I’m just trying to put the pieces of a larger puzzle together but this industry could lead to major oil production and give the US a power position as the leader in oil production. (Or is this someone’s “dream sequence”?) Fascinating stuff, at any rate.


24 posted on 12/12/2012 8:54:44 AM PST by sarasota
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To: Fightin Whitey
Lots of federal land in the Bakken area

There is lots of private land. That is why the drilling and production have been so successful.

First 60 - 90 Day Average Bakken Horizontal Production by Well {Map}
https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/Publication_List/pdf/GEO.INV/GI_149_36_Sept2012_FinalWeb.pdf

25 posted on 12/12/2012 9:03:22 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Yes, I’m aware. My home and my business are there.

I’m just saying the feds don’t any much if anything to do with it, except to cause uncertainty.


26 posted on 12/12/2012 9:10:18 AM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: Fightin Whitey

What happens if Obama decides that the EPA need to be involved? How much traction could they have in pushing this along—or in trying to manage it. ??


27 posted on 12/12/2012 9:28:54 AM PST by sarasota
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To: sarasota

The EPA is involved, casting its shadow all the time, every day.

That’s why there’s no activity on federal grounds, because the EPA is baselessly suspicious of the fracking process and is bowing to environmental outcry over allowing it on public grounds.

So far the test cases (the one I know of personally was in Wyoming) have shown fracking to be inconsequential in terms of groundwater, etc.

Still everybody is fearful what might happen in the marxist’s second act.


28 posted on 12/12/2012 9:38:04 AM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: Fightin Whitey

I don’t believe they will try to stop it; they will make sure they CONTROL it. Too lucrative, too much export potential (eventually).


29 posted on 12/12/2012 9:43:08 AM PST by sarasota
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