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Natural Gas Milestone: Apache Pioneers All-Gas Fracturing Job

ANGA member company Apache Corp will be the first company to power an entire fracturing job with engines that run on clean, domestic natural gas. The move will cut fuel costs by about 40 percent and slash air emissions. According to Apache Corp’s Mike Bahorich, "the goal is to reduce costs, while increasing use of the domestically produced fossil fuel and cutting emissions."

The engines, according the Houston Chronicle’s FuelFix blog, will be dual-fuel engines that use mostly natural gas for their power. FuelFix breaks down the savings and benefits of Apache’s decision:

"Because Apache is using modified diesel engines to power its fracking operation, it will employ a dual-fuel approach that will still use a small portion of diesel along with the natural gas, he said. Even then, fuel costs for a single frack job are expected to drop substantially, according to the company’s calculations. Based on December prices, Apache estimates fuel costs for a frack job would drop from $123,386 on diesel to $74,473 using the dual-fuel engines. A typical frack job in the Granite Wash play of Texas and Oklahoma can use around 36,000 gallons of diesel, the company said."

Using more of this abundant, domestic energy source offers numerous cost-saving and environmental benefits to power our clean energy future. The air emissions benefits have been noted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) which found, due in large part to natural gas production, energy-related CO2 emissions have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years.

Thanks to safe and responsible development, we do not have to choose between economic growth and environmental protections. We applaud Apache, and other ANGA member companies, for using more natural gas to cleanly and affordably power their operations.

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