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Can Hydraulic Fracturing Equipment Run on Natural-Gas?

In the name of cost-effectiveness and efficiency oil and gas-field companies “are experimenting with converting the huge diesel pump engines that propel millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals thousands of feet down well bores to break apart rock or tight sands and release the natural gas trapped inside,” writes Marc Levy of the Associated Press.

Pennsylvania General Energy Co. (PGE) and contractor Universal Well Services have converted “a 16-engine pumping unit called a ‘frack spread’ so that the engines will accept a blend of 70 percent natural gas and 30 percent diesel. It should be complete by May and is estimated to cost less than a quarter of what it would if it was powered by diesel alone.”

PGE CEO Douglas E. Kuntz says, "You're going to see this spreading quite rapidly across the industry. As the technology evolves, you'll see more companies across the country doing more natural gas fueling of this equipment."

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