Apache Corp., Houston, said it has partnered with Halliburton and Schlumberger to find ways to use natural gas to power hydraulic fracturing, one of the most energy-intensive processes employed by the industry.
Only 1% of drilling rigs and zero full frac spreads are powered by gas, Apache said. In 2012, the industry will have used more than 700 million gal of diesel to pump sand and water during fracture stimulation. That's $2.38 billion spent on diesel at a recent average of $3.40/gal.
Converting the process to using field gas would reduce fuel costs by 70%, said Mike Bahorich, Apache's executive vice-president of technology.
"When I approached Halliburton and told them Apache wante...