Hydraulic fracking has taken a technological step forward that has the potential to encourage production and reduce emissions. Green Field Energy Services (GFES), in conjunction with Apache Corporation have performed the first-ever operation of a fracking pump using field gas as it's sole fuel source.
The simple field hook-up took natural gas from a producing well on the same location 150 feet from the fracking Pump, routed it through the field production units, through a GFES Natural Gas Conditioning Unit, then directly to the Turbine Fracking Pump. The Turbine Frack Pump then pumped fluid from one tank to another, allowing the Company to measure rates, pressures and other important operations metrics.
Rick Fontova, President of Green Field Energy Services, stated, "Natural gas is plentiful and far more economic as a fuel source for our pumps than traditional diesel fuel and produces far fewer air emissions than diesel. We are very pleased with the success of this frac simulation and we are now ready to use 100% natural gas to drive our entire frac spread."
The GFES turbine frack pump was tested at a production well in the Granite Walsh Field in the Texas Panhandle. The test successfully showed that fracking pumps in the field can easily be configured to run off natural gas pumped from the site itself. The breakthrough should make natural gas extraction more cost effective and cleaner and could help to further soften the price of domestic natural gas -- and by extension, Nitrogen fertilizers. In addition, if the fracking industry turns to using in-field natural gas to fuel fracking pumps rather than diesel fuel, decreased demand for diesel could soften distillate fuel pricing as well.
Photo credit: Loadmaster / Foter / CC BY-SA