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Transportation & Logistics

By Jeffrey Wlahofsky

Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the second largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., recently announced plans to commit at least $1 billion over the next 10 years to identify and invest in companies and technologies that will replace OPEC oil with domestic oil, natural gas and natural gas-to-liquids fuels.

The company plans to build publicly accessible natural and liquefied natural gas fueling stations along our nation’s highways in order to create a demand for vehicles capable of running on natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and liquid transportation fuel that can be blended with existing supplies of gasoline and diesel or used as a stand-alone replacement product.

According to Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, not only would natural gas be $1.50 to $2.00 cheaper a gallon than either gasoline or diesel, “the conversion of the heavy-duty truck market to natural gas would provide significant environmental benefits. According to the EPA data, use of natural gas in heavy-duty transportation will significantly cut emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates, substantially reducing air pollution and improving public health.”

Chesapeake plans to take full advantage of the natural gas fuel cost savings and emissions reductions by accelerating the conversion of all of its 4,500 light-duty fleet vehicles to run on natural gas and 400 of its heavy-duty fleet vehicles to run on liquid natural gas. McClendon estimates that this conversion will reduce Chesapeake’s fuel costs by $15 to $20 million per year.

Chesapeake plans to invest approximately $150 million to build liquid natural gas fueling stations at truck stops across the U.S. interstate highway system, hoping to create an environment in which equipment manufacturers will feel confident enough in the technology and the access to liquid natural gas fuel to increase their production of natural gas powered vehicles.

SOURCE: Chesapeake Energy Corporation

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