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CNG station opens in Damascus; Centerpoint is first customer

Posted: May 14, 2011 - 6:38pm
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Walter Bryant, left, vice president of gas operations, CenterPoint Energy, talks with Southwestern Energy President and CEO Steve Mueller as a CenterPoint vehicle was the first to fill up at the CNG station in Damascus on Friday. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Walter Bryant, left, vice president of gas operations, CenterPoint Energy, talks with Southwestern Energy President and CEO Steve Mueller as a CenterPoint vehicle was the first to fill up at the CNG station in Damascus on Friday. SUBMITTED PHOTO

 

Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN) opened its first compressed natural gas (CNG) station by one of its subsidiaries on Friday.

The station, located at 16038 Highway. 65 South in Damascus, is the first CNG fueling station in central Arkansas that is open to the public.

SWN will use the station to fuel its current fleet of 40 CNG-powered vehicles. The company is expected to increase that fleet to 100 by the end of the year.

“As gasoline prices continue to remain high, CNG provides consumers with a more affordable option to fuel their vehicles,” said Steve Mueller, Southwestern Energy president and CEO.

The price per gallon equivalent at the station is currently $1.60. According to Mueller, CNG has benefits that go beyond the price at the pump.

“One of the biggest benefits of the compressed natural gas at our station is that it comes directly from the Fayetteville Shale, which means it’s domestically produced,” he added. “Natural gas is abundant in Arkansas. We are able to capture that resource, use it to fuel our fleet and provide this valued source of energy to other Arkansans.”

CNG has environmental benefits as well. Vehicles powered by CNG produce lower levels of emissions and pollutants compared with diesel and gasoline. Due to less carbon residue, vehicle life can be expected to increase by 75 percent, according to industry studies. 

Arkansas has four CNG stations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center.

Fort Smith is currently home to the state’s only other public-use station. The others are privately held. The City of North Little Rock is expected to open its CNG station in the coming months.

(Crain Automotive in Conway has a fueling station, providing compressed natural gas to Conway Chamber of Commerce’s signature van.)

Mueller says local residents stop by the Damascus station frequently to inquire about CNG and how they can convert or purchase a new CNG-powered vehicle.

Interest is also coming from some of the company’s vendors.

“Several of our vendors in the Fayetteville Shale play are in the process of adding CNG vehicles to their fleets,” said Mueller. “That’s exciting news for us. We’re proud to be part of an industry that is providing consumers a domestically produced alternative fuel source that is not only clean and affordable, it’s abundant.”

The station currently has three CNG pumps with six dispensers. The unmanned facility is open 24 hours a day. 

Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN)

Southwestern Energy Company is an integrated company whose wholly-owned subsidiaries are engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, natural gas gathering and marketing. The majority of the company’s operations are located in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. Additionally, SWN is currently conducting an exploration program in New Brunswick, Canada. SWN led the discovery and development of the Fayetteville Shale play and today is the largest operator in the shale producing approximately 1,635 million cubic feet of gas per day as of Dec. 31, 2010.

 

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sylviat
5638
Points
sylviat 05/14/11 - 07:14 pm
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Flame retardant clothing required, tax evasion

Make sure you wear flame retardant clothing when purchasing that blood gas and driving your CNG vehicle over our broken roads.

Here is a children at play sign and a bike trail through a flame-retardant clothing required area: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozarktroutbum/5654200372/sizes/l/in/photost...

How much gasoline taxes are the gas companies avoiding by using CNG? The gas companies are already getting tax credits to use these vehicles, while reaping record profits. This is just one more way Southwestern Energy and Centerpoint can avoid paying taxes to fix our broken roads. When will people see that they're not here to make a lasting improvement on our community?

arkansasobserver
3286
Points
arkansasobserver 05/14/11 - 08:10 pm
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Sensible

CNG is a sensible solution for many applications. One might think that low emissions, jobs at home, and energy independence would be something even Sylviat could support... guess not. The price for conversion is too high for my taste, but who knows, someday I may be buying a CNG vehicle. Thanks to SWN for launching the service here. We are not all so short-sighted as our friend SylviaT.

mybella
0
Points
mybella 05/14/11 - 10:26 pm
0
0
Short sighted
Unpublished

I am not at all short sighted. In fact I am watching Southwest Energy and their alarming negative influence on our State with my eyes wide open, as are a growing number of concerned citizens.

Go Silviat. Keep the info coming.
We need to open a lot more eyes!

arkansan
1049
Points
arkansan 05/15/11 - 08:52 am
0
0
drinking water

Had a long conversation with a friend of mine about the taste of her water. She can't drink her well water anymore. It taste terrible. She even runs it through a filter system but, it doesn't remove the horrible taste. Several gas wells are in operation within a few thousand feet from her property. This seems to be a common story that I have heard from several people lately.

cngnow
0
Points
cngnow 05/15/11 - 11:50 am
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Informed

First, lets get some information from your comments straight. SWN is a natural gas drilling company. Yes, there seems to be some "intrigue" around fracking and what negative environmental impacts "may" be occurring. Several environmentalist are studying these impacts and I assure you once this information is published then we will know whether or not to be alarmed. I choose to make my decisions based on education as opposed to sensational movies such as "gasland".

Second, the natural gas drilling companies are not recieving record profits. You have them confused with the Oil companies. Two different commodoties, companies, and profit margins considering record prices for oil and decade low prices for natural gas.

Third, taxes are paid on the deliver of CNG. That being said, the federal government does have a tax credit available for the seller of CNG based on the equivalant gasoline gallon equivalant (GGE).

Fourth, there are no available tax credits for the conversion of vehicles at this time. There is a bill in congress call the Nat Gas Act, a rebate from the AR Energy Office that has yet to be approved by the Federal DOE, and Act 832 has passed the AR legislature however funding has yet to be approved. So to date, AR companies have not received tax credits/rebates for the conversion of vehicles.

Fifth, CNP is a natural gas utility and has nothing to do with fracking or exploration of natural gas. They simply deliver gas to homes and businesses such as SWN's CNG station. I find it interesting that Sylviat portrays them as a viliian because they fill up at the station.

All that being said, I hope that all negative environmental impacts of fracking are cleaned up becuase natural gas has so many more positive environmental impacts whether used directly for heating, cooking, and water heating, in natural gas fired electricity generation, or for the use in motor vehicles.

All I ask is that you educate yourself and recognize the postive and negative impacts of natural gas. Science has proven the positive benefits of natural gas so why don't we give science a chance to evaluate the negative impacts as well before passing judgement.

ucabear09
247
Points
ucabear09 05/15/11 - 12:22 pm
0
0
Other Options

Glad to have other options out there besides gasoline. However as most people do not have a CNG vehicle this doesn't help that much.

I'd like to see an E-85 station put somewhere in the Conway/Greenbrier area. Couslon Oil of NLR has been putting in an E-85 pump at some of their stations. Cabot is the newest and Sherwood was put in a couple months ago. I've been running it in my truck since I'm in the Sherwood area a day a week. It runs great and as it is 40 cents cheaper than unleaded it's more economical even with the loss in MPG.

arc50
165
Points
arc50 05/15/11 - 12:35 pm
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@ucabear

E85 is not a viable solution right now it may seem cheaper but for every gallon of ethanol produced the govt gives a subsidy of around $1.40. ethanol also makes more of a carbon footprint to produce. If they didnt get the subsidy, which is money we owe cause the govt is having to borrow it, the companies wouldnt be producing ethanol.

arc50
165
Points
arc50 05/15/11 - 12:38 pm
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0
Come on sylviat

I have been down here for 15 years the well water around here was nasty when i moved here then and that was before fracking began. It wasnt good to drink then and its still doesnt taste good now.

mybella
0
Points
mybella 05/15/11 - 01:54 pm
0
0
your Fifth Comment............
Unpublished

Interesting that your comments below begin with "Fifth", which ties in so appropriately with the phrase, Taking The Fifth, which conjures up all sorts of murky scenarios.

you wrote;

"Fifth "CNP is a natural gas utility and has nothing to do with fracking or exploration of natural gas. They simply deliver gas to homes and businesses such as SWN's CNG station. I find it interesting that Sylviat portrays them as a valiant because they fill up at the station."

The CNP website contradicts you :

from http://www.swn.com/owners/Pages/overview.aspx
"Lease Records
Our Lease Records Department maintains and controls land records and is responsible for payment of bonuses, damage settlements, delay rentals and minimum royalty payments. It also maintains legal descriptions, remarks, special obligations, well references, tracts and leasehold ownership information. This information is tracked to provide reporting and analysis functions required by land and lease owners.
Division Orders
Soon after a well begins producing oil or gas, each owner of an interest in the well typically receives a division order. An exception may be a subsequent well or wells in a unit or integrated section. A division order is an instrument between the payor of production proceeds and the owner of an interest in a property. The division order will furnish:
Property name
Property number
Description of the property
Decimal interest owned in the property
Southwestern Energy’s division order is based on the Model Form Division Order, which was developed by the National Association of Division Order Analysts and was designed to meet the requirements of all the states where we operate."

CNP is a natural gas utility and has nothing to do with fracking or exploration of natural gas. They simply deliver gas to homes and businesses such as SWN's CNG station".................."All that being said, I hope that all negative environmental impacts of fracking are cleaned up because natural gas has so many more positive environmental impacts ."

You wrote:

'Second"
"Second, the natural gas drilling companies are not receiving record profits. You have them confused with the Oil companies. Two different commodities, companies, and profit margins considering record prices for oil and decade low prices for natural gas."

This site gives a different perspective:

http://stocks.investopedia.com/stock-analysis/2011/Southwestern-Energy-S...

So, you see..........a lot of us are paying attention - you see, we have a LOT at stake due to SWN's operation(s) in our state.

You wrote:

"Science has proven the positive benefits of natural gas so why don't we give science a chance to evaluate the negative impacts as well before passing judgment"

I find this to be an encouraging statement by the person who authored the post I refer to above.
It sounds like he-she is expressing a seed of doubt in the words he wrote. His hope that the serious environmental issues will be cleaned up echo mine.
As long as SWN and it's cohorts, continue the exploration, fracking, harvesting and distribution of natural gas as they are now they are perpetuating a cloud of not only toxins but of ominous disregard for the health and environment of mankind.

cngnow
0
Points
cngnow 05/15/11 - 03:43 pm
0
0
At maybella

Again...Get your facts straight...You are quoting a SWN website to contradict my fifth point. I maintain that CNP has ZERO drilling assets and has ZERO inteterest in fracking. They are a UTILITY that has electricity distribution, natural gas distribution, and pipeline services. THEY DO NOT DRILL FOR NATURAL GAS. You may have found that out had you actually gone to the CNP website (www.centerpointenergy.com) and not the SWN website to rebut my fifth point.

Your rebuttal to my second point is incorrect as well. You must not have actually read that article as everything in it points to increased "production" not "record profits". Let's have a little lesson in profitability. Increased production does not always reflect increased profit. In fact when natural gas wholesale prices are 1/4 of what they were when the Fayetteville Shale leases were executed, you get lower profits.

The toxins you refer to are in the fracking fluids which is now, thanfully, being monitored.

Maybella...I will say that I am glad that citizens are "paying attention". We will live in a better world as long as we all inform ourselves from objective sources. Believe it or not, I have not profited from the Shale plays but I am an avid proponent of CNG and truly hope that we can find an economical and environmental balance.

I find it refreshing that CNG actually offers a solution. Is it the complete answer? NO! But it is a step in the right direction? The answer lies in the best energy fuel for the best application whether that be nuclear, natural gas, clean coal, hydro, wind, and solar. That;s right...I said "and". Too often we think one of these choices will be the answer but the truth is putting all of our eggs in one basket is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Take a look at the MIT study about the future of natural gas. I think you will find some of that information interesting.

Also, you are correct, I am being careful about my fracking comments, but we should admit that we dont know the whole story of fracking. Think about electicity generation 50 yrs ago. It was a mess. What if we had just stopped producing electricity as opposed to working to find better alternatives while we forged ahead?

Also for the other side of the fracking story google the Cornell study on fracking emmissions. I warn you though, even the author of the study mentions that he has "questionable data".

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