Apache Pursuing LNG-Fueled Drilling Rigs
April 12, 2012

Along with other competitors in the North American drilling sphere, the company is taking advantage of the price differential between natural gas and diesel as fuels.

Exploration and production company Apache Corporation is converting its first drilling rig to be powered by LNG-fuel. Reuters reported on April 12 that in addition to fuel and emissions savings, the move is also motivated by a desire to boost natural gas demand in the U.S. Though the conversion cost can between US$1million to US$1.5 million, due to low prices and intense fuel usage in the operations “it’s a no brainer” claimed Apache chief executive Steve Farris.

Apache is not alone in the move. Canada’s EnCana has already converted 15 rigs in its fleet, with plans to add more. Chesapeake Energy has also embraced the trend, and aims to have more than 40 rigs converted to operate on dual-fuel by yearend according to the article. The report also noted that Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is “looking into” powering its drilling rigs with natural gas, but does not specify the form.

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