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Oklahoma business tries to see if water, natural gas mix

Edmond's CNG Interstate is making a push for broader use of compressed natural gas as an alternative to gasoline in transportation.
by Jay F. Marks Published: March 1, 2013

Craig Wright is an unabashed tinkerer.

He's also convinced of natural gas' potential as a replacement for gasoline, so he is always looking for a new application.

His limited-edition 2012 Ford F-150 Raptor, with distinctive red lettering on the grill, has been converted to run on compressed natural gas. It also has added a CNG-fueled Roush supercharger, creating what he calls a Roush Raptor.

“I call it the fire-breathing dragon,” he said.

Wright, who owns CNG Interstate in Edmond, also did some networking to get his hands on a 23-foot Malibu Wakesetter from Wilson Watersports.

He said the ski boat's Chevrolet engine is not that much different from an automotive motor, so he knew it was possible to convert it to CNG. But it took some work to get the timing right.

Wright's team also researched marine regulations to make sure its work met all the necessary requirements.

Wright said it took a few weeks to complete the conversion after the boat was delivered in December, but it has been too cold to put it on the water.

He said Malibu is sending some of its technical staff to Oklahoma soon to see how the converted boat performs.

“We already know that it's going to work really well,” Wright said.

Wright, whose business specializes in CNG conversions, said natural gas, which costs about $1 a gallon, is a good alternative for boaters because it is much cheaper than the high-grade gasoline they have to use. Ski boats consume a “massive” amount of fuel, he said.

The converted Wakesetter has two tanks that can hold up to 25 gallons of CNG, enough for a light day on the lake, he said. It still has its 59-gallon gasoline tank as well.

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by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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