If you could save big on fuel costs and meet emissions standards by switching to a flexible fuel solution, would you do it? For Southwestern Energy Company (SWN), it was a no-brainer.
An energy and production company headquartered in Houston, Texas, SWN wanted to minimize the high operating costs associated with diesel fuel without affecting uptime, service intervals or component life. Caterpillar Oil & Gas and Cat® dealer Riggs offered a solution—Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB™).
A dual-fuel technology that uses existing gas engine hardware to allow Cat diesel engines to burn natural gas, DGB can cut fuel costs significantly while maintaining diesel engine performance levels. SWN installed two Cat 3512C land electric-drive drilling modules with EPA-approved DGB kits at one of its rig sites—and within 11 months had saved $700,000 in fuel costs with no unexpected downtime.
“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,” said SWN Vice President Marty Carley. “We wanted to partner with a company that could commit to providing around-the-clock support and resources. Caterpillar and Cat dealer Riggs were able to do that for us.”
In fact, SWN is so pleased with the cost savings, reliability and customer support that the company is currently building seven new rigs—each one containing three engines with Cat DGB kits installed.
“The importance of not only continuing to use DGB, but growing the use of DGB for our industry should go without question,” said SWN Energy Maintenance Manager Mike Gautier. “We are decreasing cost and increasing demand.”
The DGB™ kits installed on SWN’s 3512C generator sets automatically adjust to changes in incoming fuel quality, from associated gas to liquid natural gas.