Pioneer Energy Services, a company that provides drilling services to oil and gas operators, has taken delivery of its first compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle, a 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD bi-fuel pickup truck.
‘We plan to test the vehicle for the remainder of the year in Houston and Bryan, Texas, due to availability of CNG fueling stations,’ explains Wm. Stacy Locke, the company's president and CEO. ‘Should we be satisfied with the test results, we could add more CNG-powered vehicles to our fleet over time.’
Pioneer Energy Services' fleet consists of about 800 pickup trucks that travel an average of 40,000 miles annually per vehicle.
The company is also using bi-fuel natural gas power on three of its drilling rigs. The fuel-blending kits enable the rigs' engines to run on a blend that is up to 70% natural gas and 30% diesel. Pioneer estimates annual cost savings up to $700,000 per year per rig for operators if the engines run on a fuel blend that is 70% natural gas and the price of natural gas is around $4.00 per thousand cubic feet.