For Worldwide Release: September 2013
Release Number: GP19PR6
Installation of Dynamic Gas Blending Kit Leads to Significant Fuel Savings, Zero Downtime in Operation
Houston, TX – When Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN) was searching for an innovative dual fuel solution to improve drilling efficiency, they turned to Caterpillar Oil and Gas and the Cat® Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB) kit to implement dual fuel technology into their operations. “For our team, it was essential we find an OEM capable of not only providing an advanced dual fuel product; we wanted to partner with a company that could commit to providing around-the-clock support and resources. Caterpillar and Cat Dealer Riggs Cat were able to do that for us.” noted Marty Carley, Vice President SWN Drilling Services.
Southwestern Energy installed 2x Cat 3512C generator sets with EPA-approved Dynamic Gas Blending kits on a rig operating in the Fayetteville Shale. Featuring a 60 hz, 1.0 eMW (1477 hp) drilling rating, the Cat dual fuel solutions powered the drilling of eight wells over the course of 45 days saving Southwestern Energy greater than an estimated $100,000 in fuel costs. Key factors into realizing these savings were 100% availability of gas and no increased unexpected downtime. Commenting on the significant savings encountered as a result of implementing the DGB kit Carley said, “If we can keep natural gas utilization at current levels, we believe we are looking at about an eight month pay back of investment. This is taking in to account the cost of building and maintaining a scrubber skid and all the natural gas lines required to hook the system together.”
Installation proved to be a seamless transition. “For us the DGB system was as easy to operate as hooking up a gas line. Nothing else changes in set-up, operating or engine maintenance with the exception of changing gas filters and right now we are expecting to do that about every 6 months, Carley said. “Set up after rig move is easy as well, with a scrubber skid moved to the location prior to the rig’s arrival.”
The Cat DGB system is CARB-certified for use with fuels with a Lower Heating Value (LHV) of between 905 BTU/scf to 1250 BTU/scf, giving operators a wide range of fuel options while meeting Tier 2 emission levels. Additionally, the Cat DGB system was recently approved by the EPA as a field fix that allows the installation of the DGB kit to convert the diesel engine to run on a combination of diesel/natural gas. This field fix was approved and implemented in accordance with 40 CFR Part 89 and Circular 2B dated March 1975. The EPA approval applies to the DGB kits for land drilling and well stimulation applications. For Southwestern, CARB certification proved to be a key differentiator in their choice to utilize Cat dual fuel technology. “Maintaining OEM emissions certifications is really important to us.” Carley said. “It is critical that we stay within the guidelines and preferable that we’re exceeding them.”
“At Caterpillar, we believe in the value and flexibility the DGB system provides,” Derek Kamp, Caterpillar Oil and Gas account manager commented. “We're pleased with the successful performance of the DGB for Southwestern Energy and have come to expect nothing less than stellar results from our dual fuel solution based on land drilling, production and well stimulation installations for numerous customers around the globe. Wellsite by wellsite it is transforming oilfield operations and will continue to positively impact the industry as we continue to embrace utilizing natural gas in operations.”
For Southwestern, fuel flexibility has been a key factor in drilling operations. “We believe the diversity of this system to run on a blend of natural gas and diesel or on straight diesel is a critical factor in our operation,” Carley said. “Having the ability to mitigate the downtime created by either natural gas fuel (CNG, LNG, and Field Gas) availability and or natural gas fuel quality allows us to maintain the logistic diversity of the rig, if these issues arise. When natural gas fuel is available, we are playing a part in increasing the demand for this natural resource and this is a win, win deal for us. The flexibility of these DGB systems increases our ability to utilize a wide range of natural gas fuels, while at the same time staying fully operational regardless of the type of fuel available. Increasing the demand for natural gas is something everyone involved in this business should be aware of and working towards.”
The DGB kit will be showcased at the upcoming High Horsepower Summit in Chicago, September 17 – 19th where Caterpillar will highlight its comprehensive dual fuel and natural gas offerings for the oil and gas, rail, marine and mining industries. To register for HHP, visit: www.cat.com/hhpsummit. For up to the minute information on Caterpillar Global Petroleum at HHP, follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/caterpillaroilandgas & Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/catoilandgas using #HHPSummit and #natgas. For more information on the comprehensive dual fuel and natural gas solutions Caterpillar offers, please visit catoilandgasinfo.com.
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About Caterpillar Oil and Gas
Caterpillar Oil and Gas, Caterpillar Inc.’s oil and gas division with headquarters in Houston, Texas, groups all the sales and service activities for Cat oil and gas power solutions. Since the 1930s, Caterpillar has manufactured engines for the oilfield and today provides premier power solutions with outputs from 31 to 16,000 kW. The sales and service network includes more than 2,100 dealer locations world-wide dedicated to support customers in the drilling, production, well service and gas compression segments. More information is available at: http://www.catoilandgasinfo.com/pr
For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2012 sales and revenues of $65.875 billion, Caterpillar is a technology leader and the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, clean diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. More information is available at www.cat.com.
About Southwestern Energy Company
At Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN), our mission is to produce and provide energy to our world. It’s a commitment that has motivated our employees for more than 80 years. Every day we are explorers and producers, working to discover innovative new ways to fuel the future. Our culture demands creativity and innovation. Our significant projects include the Fayetteville Shale and Marcellus Shale plays. We also work in the Arkoma Basin in Western Arkansas, East Texas, and we have begun exploratory efforts in the Brown Dense, located near the Arkansas-Louisiana border, Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin and New Brunswick, Canada.
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