Southwestern Energy Co. Touts CNG as Worthy Alternate

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 91 views 

A team of four Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) geoscientists pit-stopped at the University of Arkansas on April 16, hoping to raise awareness of the benefits of compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel source.

The Conway-based team traveled 2,782 miles to an annual industry association conference in Long Beach, Calif. Eric Gross works for SWN as a field geology manager and is a graduate of the UA. He said the team traveled in a GMC Sierra extended cab truck and got the equivalent of about 17 mpg using CNG.

The truck is one of about 100 SWN added to its fleet in 2011, and the company plans to convert another 66 this year. According to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, CNG currently costs about $2.13 per gallon compared to about $3.90 for gasoline.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest from companies as far as the fleet and pool vehicle side,” Gross said. “This trip is helping us bring some attention to personal vehicles, too.

“You can get yourself around on CNG, and save some money, too.”

The Conway team met two more SWN teams traveling from Houston, then caravaned to the conference. Together, they documented the cost savings associated with CNG, highlighted its environmental benefits and demonstrated the growing infrastructure of CNG fueling stations across the country.

Mary Faucett, a corporate affairs team communications advisor who made the trip from Houston, said the vehicles used gasoline for just 165 miles of the trip. Faucett said the group’s fuel cost savings were 51 percent, and that carbon dioxide emissions were cut 28 percent by using CNG.

SWN, according to a company-issued release, led the discovery and development of the Fayetteville Shale play in central Arkansas and is its largest operator.