The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has scheduled three forums on natural gas issues in May. The forums, which would be held in a roundtable format “to encourage discussion and allow flexibility to find areas of agreement,” would include input from members and a variety of stakeholders, according to committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Topics for the forums are “Infrastructure, Transportation, Research and Innovation” (May 16), “Domestic Supply and Exports” (May 21) and “Shale Development: Best Practices and Environmental Concerns” (May 23).

With $100 million in funding support from a unit of Royal Dutch Shell plc, privately held oilfield services operator Green Field Energy Services (GFES), may have found a low-cost power source for hydraulic fracturing (fracking): used military helicopter jet engines that can run on natural gas. GFES has 70 units in the field powering fracking pumps and plans to add more as the used engines come on the market. Lafayette, LA-based GFES reportedly is getting engineering help from a branch of General Electric to develop the technology and equipment to convert the former Chinook helicopter engines. The company has invested in about 140,000 hp of these operating units.