Oil-field services company Halliburton is embracing natural gas.
The Houston-based company, which got its start in Duncan, showed off one of its dual-fuel pumping units and part of its growing fleet of bi-fuel pickups Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
Rick Grisinger, senior vice president for Halliburton's northern region, said the company is working closely with its clients to innovate in the ongoing shale revolution.
“We're excited to be where we are today, but it's just the beginning,” he said.
Grisinger said Halliburton was the first company with a fleet of hydraulic fracturing pumps, with each unit capable of running on a mixture of diesel and natural gas. That pilot program with Apache Corp. is expected to lead to additional units throughout North America.
Halliburton also is replacing aging vehicles in its fleet with bi-fuel trucks that can run on gasoline or compressed natural gas, Grisinger said. The company already has bought about 100 vehicles for use in seven states, including Oklahoma.
“These trucks will be used in our everyday business, hauling people and equipment,” Grisinger said.
Each vehicle will save Halliburton about $5,000 a year in operational costs, he said.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who has built a coalition of more than 20 states to buy natural gas vehicles, praised Halliburton for its efforts to increase demand for natural gas.
“It's exciting to see your company incorporating an American-made source of energy,” she said.
Apache executive Rob Johnston said the Houston-based exploration and production company pushed Halliburton to use natural gas in its operations.
“From a producer's perspective, this is just flat the right thing to do,” said Johnston, vice president of Apache's central region.
Johnston said Apache has used dual-fuel pumps in all of its fracturing operations since January.
Jason McIntyre, an engineering manager for Halliburton in Duncan, said the high-rate, high-pressure pumping units were designed for shale operations.
He said as many as 20 are needed to complete fracturing operations on a given well, but newly designed units eliminated the need for about 25 percent of the equipment at each location.
The units, which can use up to 60 percent natural gas, require less maintenance than traditional pumps.
“We'll be seeing fleets of these dual-fuel equipment units all over the country,” McIntyre said.
Halliburton also displayed its SandCastle vertical sand storage system, a silo that holds the material used to keep open the cracks in shale that allow oil and natural gas to be produced after fracturing.
McIntyre said the system is powered by gravity and solar energy, allowing Halliburton to slash its diesel use by 1.5 million gallons over the past two years.