Companies power fracturing job with field gas

Green Field Energy Services, which pioneered the use of turbine engines for hydraulic fracturing, has completed its first hydraulic fracturing job powered solely by natural gas tapped from a nearby well.

Working with Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp., the companies used field gas to complete fracturing jobs on a Marcellus Shale well in Pennsylvania, according to a news release from the companies.

The companies completed multiple fracturing stages using pumps powered by natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing pumps fire millions of gallons of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, into rocks deep underground, causing them to crack and release oil and natural gas.

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Green Field’s fracturing pumps use retired military helicopter engines that have the capability to run on diesel, natural gas and other fuels.

Green Field, of Lafayette, La., has previously performed fracturing jobs with 100 percent liquefied natural gas, but this was the first time that it had completed work using only gas tapped directly from a nearby well, making the process cheaper.

Some operators, including Apache Corp., have estimated that using well gas, also called field gas, can cut fuel costs by 70 percent. An Apache estimate said that if all fracturing jobs switched to field gas, energy companies could cut their industry-wide fuel costs by $1.67 billion.

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