A unit of privately held Beaumont, TX-based Stabilis Energy LLC sees a growth market for the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in transportation in U.S. oilfields.

Stabilis’ Green Energy Fuels (GEF) unit expects to take delivery of 10 LNG-powered Peterbilt 388 sleeper tractors in April to haul LNG and equipment around oilfield sites. In the meantime, Stabilis has committed to developing five LNG production plants.

These of the plants are liquefaction facilities to service “high-horsepower oilfield, marine and rail fuel markets.” Stabilis has contracted with Chart Energy & Chemicals Inc. to do advance engineering for the LNG facilities. Stabilis said the liquefaction facilities will each have the capacity to produce 100,000-250,000 gallons of LNG daily.

In the oilfields now, GEF is operating a fleet of LNG tractor-trailers to haul water to hydraulic fracturing operators, and with the new Peterbilt 388s, it plans to haul primarily LNG for use in oilfields as an energy source.

The Peterbilt tractors have Westport HD powertrains with 15-liter high-pressure direct-injection diesel-fueled natural gas engines based on Cummins ISX. GEF CEO Roger Nevill said this is the largest natural gas engine available right now, and the tractors have two 120-gallon fuel tanks.

“Stabilis believes LNG will be a major contributor to North American energy independence,” said Casey Crenshaw, the company’s president. “High-quality, locally produced LNG is the only reliable, clean and efficient alternative fuel to diesel. LNG is proven to be the most cost-effective for high-horsepower applications.”

Crenshaw said Stabilis plans to satisfy off-road engine fuel requirements while supporting on-highway motor fuel markets with distribution partners.

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