2012-01-04 / Columns

OIl & Gas Report

Natural gas, fuel for the future, right in our country’s ‘back yard’
Leon Zabava

A s you look back in time, in these great “United States of America”, you find an endless history of selfsufficiency. We’ve always found ways to advance the betterment of our families and country as a whole.

The time has arrived in the development of our nation where energy security matters are of utmost importance. There’s a very real demand for sources of energy to sustain our evergrowing infrastructure. It’s time to “step up to the plate” and begin enhancing our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy. The most sensible and available commodity, right here in our own country’s “back yard”, is natural gas. There’s an abundance of this natural resource in the Eagle Ford Shale that extends across South Texas. Natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources.

Greg Macksood Greg Macksood To further the availability of natural gas as a fuel source, the State of Texas has initiated a clean transportation triangle. Natural gas producers and legislators in the State of Texas have been working on advancing the structure needed to connect San Antonio, Houston and Dallas- Fort Worth with natural gas fueling stations. A Clean Transportation Triangle has been developed by producers and legislators to create legislation promoting vehicles that run on natural gas. In July, 2011, legislation written {S.B. 20} by State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands and signed into law by Governor

Rick Perry, provides the groundwork across the state to connect the three cities.

“S.B. 20, or the Texas Clean Transportation Triangle bill, is meant to have strategically located CNG fueling stations along accessible points between Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio,” said Greg Macksood, Director of Government Relations for Chesapeake Energy. “This will help provide natural gas fueling locations for 18-wheelers commuting along the most well-traveled corridor in the nation, while also promoting growth within the light-duty consumer market.”

Justin Furnace Justin Furnace Chesapeake is currently in the process of converting its 5,000 light-duty vehicle fleet to natural gas, in addition is developing infrastructure needed to support heavy-duty transformation to natural gas drilling rigs, pressure pumping equipment and heavy-duty operations. With record levels of natural gas being produced all around the state, the Texas Clean Transportation Triangle is a great plan to improve our air, decrease our dependency on foreign sources of oil, and assist Texas fleets and their bottom line using affordable Texas natural gas. Several companies helped promote S.B. 20, including Eagle Ford operators like Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Apache Corp., Pioneer Natural Resources, El Paso Corp. And Petrohawk Energy Corp.

Jose L. Ceballos Jose L. Ceballos Justin Furnace, president of Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners (TIPRO) said, “Discoveries of shale plays, including the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, have led North America to now boast of more natural gas reserves than Saudi Arabia has oil. The abundance of this resource offers great promise for the United States in the future. With more than 98 percent of the natural gas we use in this country coming from North America, TIPRO supports increased domestic use of this clean energy resource that is available in our own backyard, rather than imported from foreign countries.”

The VIA Metropolitan Transit system in the City of San Antonio has converted part of its fleet of buses to use compressed natural gas as an economy measure. Also the same conversion to compressed natural gas has been incorporated in the City of Laredo, City of Corpus Christi and the City of Austin. Theirs is an emerging trend foreseeing other municipalities making the change to compressed natural gas.

TEXAS TRIANGLE MAP TEXAS TRIANGLE MAP Also, recently, on December 12, 2011, the City of La Vernia in Wilson County entered into a franchise agreement with West Texas Gas (WTG) to supply natural gas.

This week, when I asked for comments, Jose L. Ceballos with Totem LLC, Eagle Ford consultant for American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) said, “South Texas has an abundance of clean, affordable natural gas, and the time to maximize on those opportunities is before us. At a time when many parts of the country struggle with unemployment, Eagle Ford Shale and the South Texas communities supporting the development are delivering jobs and economic progress.”

Ceballos continued, “For communities in the Eagle Ford Shale region, the homeproduced natural gas development is a once in a lifetime opportunity, with the potential for long-term economic benefits. From greater use for power generation to heavy-duty fleet conversion, South Texans are playing a significant role in improving the environment and economic benefits of the region, the state of Texas, and our country.”

LEON ZABAVA is a Pleasanton Express sta writer and blogger for Oil and Gas Report. He may be contacted at lzabava@pleasantonexpress.com.

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