Cabot Oil & Gas uses natural gas to power fracturing

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. said Monday it has begun using natural gas produced from the Marcellus Shale to fracture wells there, displacing up to 70 percent of diesel fuel traditionally used to operate fracturing equipment.

The dual-fuel project, done in partnership with FTS International and Caterpillar Global Petroleum, was a first for northeastern Pennsylvania, according to Cabot.

Houston-based Apache Corp. was a pioneer in the concept, becoming the first to power an entire hydraulic fracturing job with engines running on natural gas and cutting fuel costs by about 40 percent earlier this year. It worked with Caterpillar, Schlumberger and Halliburton on that project.

Cabot said the goals of its dual-fuel projects are to reduce air emissions and truck traffic, as well as cutting costs.

Dan O. Dinges, chairman, president and CEO of Houston-based Cabot, said in a statement that the company “is continually searching for ways to utilize cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology during our operations. We are already converting our vehicle fleet and currently have a drilling rig using natural gas as well, so the next step is to utilize the technology on a hydraulic fracturing site.”

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About The Author

Jeannie Kever joined the Houston Chronicle's energy team in September 2012. A native of West Texas, she has been at the Houston Chronicle since 1997, working in the features department for 10 years before moving to the city desk, where she reported on higher education, the 2010 Census and health care before moving to the business desk. She previously worked at the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune, the San Antonio Light, the Longview (Washington) Daily News, the El Paso Times and the San Angelo Standard Times.