We were thrilled to hear about a pilot program recently launched by EQT Corporation, which aims to convert its gas drilling rigs from diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG). The first rig conversion took place at a producing well in Northern West Virginia, marking the first of its kind in the Marcellus Shale. If all goes well at the test site, Pittsburgh-based EQT will convert additional equipment across West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
“We want to be a leader in reducing the environmental impacts related to drilling and we are proud to be the first operator in the Marcellus to launch such a program,” said Steve Schlotterbeck, President Exploration and Production for EQT. “We continually look for opportunities to improve our operations and displacing diesel, by introducing the use of alternatives such as LNG and field gas, is one way of doing so.”
The use of LNG provides companies like EQT with an environmentally friendly and cost effective way to power their equipment. Not only does LNG emit between 20 and 30 percent less carbon monoxide compared to diesel, it’s also about 40 percent less expensive.
EQT is not the first natural-gas producer to embark on this conversion effort. Earlier in 2012, Encana began powering its drilling rigs with LNG in place of diesel. Within three months, Encana said they lowered their fuel costs by nearly 50 percent.
We hope to hear more from companies transitioning to the use of natural gas to develop this foundation fuel. For more details, click here.