Apache Celebrates Earth Day With New Refueling Station in Elk City, Okla. to Power Company Vehicles With Cleaner-Burning, Abundant Natural Gas
HOUSTON, April 22, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) announced today that it has begun operating its first compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station at Elk City, Okla., enabling the company to fuel field vehicles with cleaner-burning gas produced from the company's wells in the Anadarko Basin of western Oklahoma.
"With many people focused on Earth Day and ways to improve the environment, we are demonstrating that there is an abundant resource in this country - natural gas - that can provide a cost-effective means to reduce America's dependence on imported oil and its emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's chairman and chief executive officer.
"Natural gas can provide an important bridge as other alternative fuels with lower greenhouse gas emissions become more economical to implement," Farris said. "Using domestic natural gas makes sense because it creates jobs in this country and reduces our dependence on imported oil or liquefied natural gas."
A 2007 study of alternative fuels for vehicle use conducted for the California Energy Commission concluded that greenhouse gas emissions from midsize passenger cars fueled by CNG were 20-30 percent below emissions from gasoline-fueled cars on a "well-to-wheels" basis that takes into account emissions that occur as various energy sources are produced, transported, refined and consumed.
The station has the capacity to refuel 100 vehicles per day. Initially, it will be used to fuel more than 40 Apache field vehicles that are being equipped to run on CNG. Apache is converting the gasoline-fueled trucks because no firms manufacture CNG-fueled trucks in the United States.
"This is a small step; Apache is exploring ways to share the excess capacity at the Elk City refueling facility with other CNG fleet operators and build additional refueling facilities at other company locations," Farris said.
"The biggest obstacle right now is the lack of refueling infrastructure; that's why we had to build our own station," Farris said. "The private sector could build adequate infrastructure to fuel many of the nation's public and private vehicle fleets, but policy makers will need to consider appropriate incentives to accelerate development."
Current federal and Oklahoma laws provide incentives for building CNG refueling stations, acquiring CNG vehicles and using CNG, but federal incentives are scheduled to expire at the end of 2009.
Converting 10 percent of America's vehicle fleet to run on CNG would have an immediate impact on greenhouse gas emissions and could reduce the nation's bill for imported oil by $18 billion per year.
About 120,000 CNG vehicles currently travel U.S. streets and highways, according to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, a trade group. There are about 1,100 refueling stations. For comparison, there are 250 million cars and light trucks and 120,000 gasoline filling stations across the nation.
Worldwide, there are about 9.5 million natural gas vehicles on the road. In Argentina - one of Apache's core areas - 1.7 million CNG vehicles comprise about 20 percent of the automotive fleet.
Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Argentina. Apache posts announcements, updates and investor information, in addition to copies of all recent press releases, on its Web site, www.apachecorp.com.
SOURCE Apache Corporation
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