Efforts are under way in North Dakota and California to provide alternatives to diesel in trucks operating in the states' oil and natural gas fields.
In North Dakota, the effort aims to support the state's push for the capture of associated natural gas now being flared at wellsites. Houston-based Trident Resources LLC has partnered with a regional truck dealer, Harrison Truck Centers, to provide fleet operators in busy Bakken Shale trucking corridors with lower fuel/operating costs and reduced emissions, along with assisting oil and gas producers in reducing flaring.
Trident provides oil/gas operators with small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fractionation plants to capture wellsite gas from which LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) is produced for dual-fuel Freightliner Glider trucks from Iowa-based Harrison.
The dual-fuel Gliders can operate on diesel and CNG simultaneously, or on diesel alone. Trident and Harrison will be demonstrating the trucks for fleet operators throughout the state's western oil/gas basins during December.
In California, the state energy commission's alternative and renewable fuel and vehicle technology program has provided $5 million of co-funding to Colony Energy Partners in Tulare, CA, to construct a digester that will produce 2.8 million diesel gallon equivalents of biogas annually to displace an equal amount of diesel fuel now burned in trucks in the San Joaquin Valley.
The state agency also announced backing for new hydrogen fueling stations that are part of a series of 10 stations being developed statewide.
Air Products and Chemicals Inc. received a $300,000 grant for the first of 10 hydrogen stations, including the operations and maintenance costs of the station equipment in Diamond Bar in southern California. Another hydrogen station opened recently in northern California, providing the hydrogen option at a traditional gasoline fueling station that has been operating for more than 60 years by Ramos Oil Co., which has a multi-fuel concept for its business.
In the CNG fueling sector, U.S. Oil completed the second of five CNG fueling stations in partnership with Core-Mark, which operates more than 140 natural gas-powered tractor-trucks, with plans to integrate another 60 trucks by the middle of next year. The public-access station opened earlier this month is in Forrest City, AR
U.S. Oil, the petroleum and renewable energy distribution division of U.S. Venture Inc., develops the stations with CNG supplier Gain Clean Fuel and plans to have more than 100 Gain stations operating in the next three years. It has three more Core-Mark stations planned for Sanford, NC, Smyrna, GA, and Tampa, FL.
In Canada, there were two major natural gas transportation announcements, led by the Quebec utility Gaz Metro joining Brussels-based Fluxys, an independent gas infrastructure group, in pooling their expertise to stimulate the LNG and CNG markets for both transportation and industrial applications.
"The agreement will pave the way for an exchange of information and expertise related to LNG and CNG, particularly on the technical, commercial, contractual, regulatory, fiscal and administrative fronts," Gaz Metro said. "The two parties, which indirectly share a major shareholder in the Caisse de dep0t et placement du Quebec, have also agreed to explore co-investment opportunities as interesting projects take shape."
Separately, Ontario-based Progressive Waste Solutions opened a CNG fueling facility east of Vancouver, which it touted as serving "the largest fleet of natural gas powered waste and recycling collection vehicles" in Canada.
Progressive serves Coquitlam and Surrey, near Vancouver, with 77 CNG waste and recycling collection trucks. The company set a goal last year of converting all of its diesel-fueled trucks to natural gas.