Cabot Oil & Gas has partnered with FTS International and Caterpillar Global Petroleum to use shale gas to fracture wells via dual fuel technology. Using natural gas can displace up to 70 percent of the diesel fuel traditionally used to operate fracking equipment, Cabot Oil & Gas says.
The company says this marks the first time “field” gas has been used in northeastern Pennsylvania to power fracking equipment.
Use of dual fuel technology, where the engines operate on a mixture of natural gas and a small portion of diesel, cuts emissions because of a reduction in diesel fuel usage, the company says. This technology also reduces truck traffic when field gas at or near the well site is used and cuts costs, as natural gas can be a less expensive fuel option than diesel.
To operate using natural gas, FTSI’s mobile pressure pumping unit (pictured) at the site was retrofitted with a Dynamic Gas Blending kit from Caterpillar. The system enables substitution of diesel fuel with natural gas during high pressure pumping operations and is compatible with field gas, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.
The American Chemistry Council in a report published this week says robust and affordable supplies of natural gas from shale are a key requirement for the successful implementation of nearly 100 US chemical industry projects, which in turn would create 46,000 jobs in that sector.
A report released earlier this year by consulting firm Accenture found shale gas companies could benefit financially and conserve resources by collaborating with regulators and sharing infrastructure with other operators working in the same drilling basin.