The first of many sites planned in deal between Love’s and Chesapeake
A partnership between Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores and Chesapeake Energy has resulted in the building of a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Kingfisher, OK. The Highway 3 Travel Stop, which opened February 25, 2011, is somewhat of a milestone by which to measure the growth of such fueling stations as they start popping up around the country.
The market for CNG is largely undeveloped, but as companies start making this type of commitment to the fuel in support of their own business it is a tell-tale sign that more fueling stations will follow suit.
“As a company, we see the new fueling station in Kingfisher as meeting the growing demand for CNG, especially from fleet operators in this area,” said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of marketing, Love’s.
The new CNG station will serve the public as well as Chesapeake’s growing CNG truck fleet. Chesapeake has converted almost 70 of its fleet vehicles to CNG and reportedly plans to convert their entire fleet nationwide. Chesapeake is not alone. Other companies, including UPS and AT&T, have announced CNG conversion plans for their own fleets.
“This is an exciting partnership with Love’s,” said Taylor Shinn, senior director of corporate development, Chesapeake Energy. “Oklahoma is setting a strong example for the rest of the nation on how to develop a CNG infrastructure network to serve the public and fleet operators.”
The partnership demonstrates the type of opportunity that results when the public and private sector work together and share an understanding of the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel. As the price of gasoline continues to rise, the relatively low price of CNG, currently $1.39 per gallon, becomes more pronounced. Of course with increased use of the fuel, the more stable and predictable the market will be.
And the virtues don’t stop there. The growth of the natural gas industry by increasing its use as a transportation fuel is directly serving the interests of America’s unemployed. The industry will continue to be a vital component in job creation and tax revenue for our country. Oklahoma alone employs more than 174,500 people as a direct result of the natural gas industry. Vast shale plays like the ones found in Pennsylvania and Alabama offer hundreds of thousands of jobs that are putting Americans to work.
It is imperative for the natural gas industry to work with its regulators to ensure continued access to the valuable resource and, thereby help to foster economic growth in a safe and sustainable way. “Natural gas exploration and production is a vital component of Oklahoma’s economy, and for Chesapeake and Love’s to come together to provide a CNG fueling station in this area is a powerful statement to the future of American energy,” said State Senator Rob Johnson.