New York alternative fuels operator buys two CNG stations in Arkansas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 224 views 

Privately-held American Natural Gas, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., announced Monday (May 16) it has acquired two public compressed natural gas (CG) fueling stations from Southwestern Energy Co. in Conway and Damascus.

ANG officials said service at both stations, located at the epicenter of the Fayetteville Shale natural gas play, will continue uninterrupted as ownership and operations responsibilities shift to the fast-growing New York alternative motor fuels operator.

“We’re looking forward to a seamless transition and long-term relationships as we continue to supply Southwestern Energy’s fleet, its loyal customers, and any new transportation companies interested in converting to CNG,” said Andrew West, CEO of ANG. “It’s clear the local community is leading the way in alternative fuel use and we’re excited to be part of that solution.”

Both stations are active hubs for local municipal vehicles and regional return-to-base and long-haul trucking fleets, ANG officials said. The Conway station, at 2125 Sanders Road, is located off Interstate 40 and the Damascus station is located at 16038 Highway 65 South.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction allows Southwestern to divest unessential assets and generate additional cash flow as stalled driving activity has led to a dramatic decline in natural gas sales, a first quarter loss of $1.13 billion and a 39% drop in revenue. In its first quarter financial report, newly-installed Southwestern Energy CEO Bill Way said the company was aggressively reviewing operations, vendor usage and contract terms that would allow it to find additional cost savings.

Southwestern first opened the CNG fueling station in Damascus in 2011, – the first such public CNG fueling station in central Arkansas that has three fuel dispensers. The unmanned Conway location was later opened to the public in October 2013 and features two dual-hose dispensers. Both stations are open 24 hours a day and feature self-service pumps with credit card capabilities and video surveillance.

“We are pleased to welcome ANG as a new investor in our community, and look forward to working with them as both Central Arkansas stations will continue to supply CNG to Southwestern Energy’s fleet in support of our extensive operations in the Fayetteville Shale,” said George Sheffer, Southwestern’s vice president of operations for the Fayetteville Shale.

For its part, the cheap natural gas prices that have dogged Southwestern Energy will actually aid ANG in its plan to add additional CNG stations to its growing U.S. portfolio. In the past year, the New York based company has announced new CNG stations in Albany, Lancaster and Rochester, N.Y., and Georgetown, Ky.