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News Archive - July 2012


Pioneer Natural Resources Buys 225 Ford F250s with Westport WiNG System
July 31st, 2012 - Texas-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company Pioneer Natural Resources, is adding 225 bi-fuel WiNG natural gas powered Ford F250 Super Duty trucks to its fleet. Manufactured by Canadian natural gas engine manufacturer, Westport Innovations Inc, WiNG is an integrated, bi-fuel (natural gas / gasoline) system for fleet customers of passenger and commercial vehicles. Pioneer has begun transitioning a number of its fleet vehicles from gasoline and diesel powered to those able to run on more cost-effective compressed natural gas (CNG) for light duty, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for heavy-duty applications. “Pioneer strives to lead by example with our commitment to natural gas vehicles and engines in our own operations,” said Jay Still, Executive Vice President of Domestic Operations at Pioneer. “Transitioning to natural gas for our fleet fuel is good economics, good for the environment and good for American jobs.”
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Canadian Study Calls Natural Gas ‘A Game-Changing Fuel’
July 30th, 2012 - The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for the Canadian government released a report on Canada’s energy future that called natural gas “a game-changing fuel.” “Reliable, versatile and efficient, natural gas is becoming a platform fuel for the Canadian economy; its expansion should be encouraged,” said the report titled “Now or Never” which outlines a comprehensive energy vision for Canada. The report draws on the expertise of more than 250 leading energy stakeholders across the country to address the real and urgent energy and emissions challenges. “As the committee developed its vision, it witnessed the dynamic transformation of the global energy landscape and considered the implications for Canada,” the report said.
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New Senate Bill Seeks to Excite Natural Gas Vehicle and Refueling Market through Grants
July 27th, 2012 - In late July, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., introduced into the Senate the STATE Natural Gas Act, which is crafted to create a federal grant program whereby states can fund initiatives that support a higher penetration of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and natural gas refueling infrastructure. "My bill will encourage the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and encourage private investment in natural gas vehicles and transportation infrastructure," Casey said in a statement. The STATE Natural Gas Act would create a grant program to offer states funding to develop initiatives that encourage the use of natural gas as a fuel and encourage public and private investment in natural gas vehicles and transportation infrastructure.
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New Player in CNG Refueling: AMP Trillium
July 23rd, 2012 - Trillium CNG and AMP Americas have formed a joint venture, AMP Trillium, to focus on developing a network of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in the US. The companies say their initial target will be to construct public-access stations along the I-65 and I-75 trucking corridors and on major routes in Texas. Construction of the first station is targeted to begin by this fall. The new stations will feature fast-fill capabilities and redundant equipment providing increased fill speed and reduced downtime, backed by a 24/7 on-call service team. The stations will accept fleet cards and major credit cards, and offer special fuel pricing programs for fleets.
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California City Converts Refuse Fleet to Natural Gas
July 20th, 2012 - Pomona, CA, has placed an order for 22 Mack TerraPro low-entry vehicles powered by compressed natural gas. The refuse vehicles will replace the city’s entire diesel fleet, said Mack Trucks. Delivery is expected in September, and the trucks are powered by Cummins Westport ISL G natural gas engines. “The city of Pomona is committed to reducing its environmental footprint,” said Howard Morris, Pomona solid waste manager. “We liked what Mack had to offer, especially its excellent reputation and the durability and reliability of its products.”
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Eaton to Develop Affordable Home Refueling Station for Natural Gas Vehicles; Liquid Piston Technology
July 20th, 2012 - Eaton Corporation will develop an affordable home refueling station for natural gas vehicles, utilizing existing natural gas sources in the home and innovative compressor technology. The effort is funded in part by a $3.4-million grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) MOVE project. The refueling system will use liquid to act as a piston to compress natural gas. Innovative heat exchanger technology will improve efficiency and cut cost dramatically. Eaton will collaborate with the University of Minnesota on thermodynamic analysis and modeling to enable the efficient transfer of heat in the compression process. The goal is to develop a production prototype for refueling stations that will retail for about one-tenth of the cost of currently available systems.
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Researchers Have a Vision for Home-Based Compressed Natural Gas Refueling
July 19th, 2012 - GE, Chart Industries and the University of Missouri are partnering to develop an at-home natural gas refueling station technology that will be affordable and easier to use than solutions available today. The 28-month, $2.3 million project - which received $1.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in July - is aimed at designing a refueling system that chills, densifies and transfers compressed natural gas (CNG) more efficiently than existing compressor technologies can accomplish. It will feature fewer moving parts, operate quietly and be "virtually maintenance-free," according to GE. The DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) initiative is targeting a reduction in the cost of at-home refueling stations to $500 per unit, and a decrease in refueling time to less than one hour. The DOE says meeting the goals will help remove the major barriers that are currently stifling a greater adoption of natural gas vehicles.
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Shell Manager Predicts Liquefied Natural Gas Fuel for Long-Haul Truckers
July 19th, 2012 - James Burns, Shell’s general manager for LNG Gas in Transport, Americas, said Shell is committed to providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure for long-haul truckers as in the case of diesel, which is is offered at every truck stop along the nation’s highways. “Historically, natural gas vehicles have been limited to specific regional geographies, and what we envision, in the not-too-far distance, is a world where infrastructure is a non-issue,” Burns said. “So we plan on rolling out these additional projects that will eventually bring all of these regional projects into a robust infrastructure for the heavy-duty trucking industry.”
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North American Light-Duty NGV Market Forecast to Swell
July 18th, 2012 - The next seven years will see steady growth in the worldwide market for light-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs), with 3.2 million units sold in 2019. By then, a total of 25.4 million will be deployed globally. Right now, NGVs are gaining renewed interest from both consumers and fleets due to the current high cost of gasoline and diesel. Many parts of the world have substantial and growing supplies of natural gas, resulting in a wholesale cost that is near record lows in some countries. Additionally, methane has much cleaner emissions than either gasoline or diesel vehicles, which makes natural gas an attractive fuel for use in transportation. NGVs are available both in passenger cars and in light-duty pickup trucks, SUVs and vans. These vehicles typically run on compressed natural gas (CNG) because the tanks for CNG are lighter in weight and less costly than liquefied natural gas (LNG). Natural gas must be cooled to -259 degrees F to be liquefied and stored in insulated containers. READ MORE >

Energy Department "MOVE" Program to Advance Innovative Natural Gas Vehicle Technologies
July 12th, 2012 - U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman today announced 13 new cutting-edge research projects that will receive a total of $30 million to find new ways of harnessing America’s abundant natural gas supplies for cars and trucks and expand the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. Through its Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), the Department’s new program, titled Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy - or “MOVE” – aims to engineer light-weight, affordable natural gas tanks for vehicles and develop natural gas compressors that can efficiently fuel a natural gas vehicle at home. READ MORE >

CNG Bus Proves Performance in Rocky Mountains
July 10th, 2012 - Summit Stage is a transit company that offers free transport from Summit County towns to local ski areas via Fremont Pass, a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. Looking to increase the environmental credentials of the fleet, officials have tested a compressed natural gas (CNG) powered bus on the run up to the 3,450 metre (11,318 ft) pass and found the slightly smaller engined CNG bus climbed the pass route 7 mph (11 kph) faster than one of their diesel buses, reports Summit Daily News. READ MORE >
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