Sunday, July 26, 2009

Natural Gas Vehicle Program Unveiled by EnCana

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

In natural gas-rich Colorado, a major player raises awareness of NG as an alternative transportation fuel

By CEN Staff

DENVER – EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc. announced on Monday the launch of its DRIVE NATURAL GAS VEHICLES (NGV) program.

EnCana says the program is designed to further reduce the company’s environmental footprint while building awareness of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the need for infrastructure to support the transition to natural gas vehicles.

Details of the program include converting several fleet vehicles to natural gas, purchasing natural gas- powered Honda Civic GX vehicles for employee use and embarking on a consumer- and industry-focused education campaign about natural gas as a transportation fuel.

“As one of the largest producers of natural gas in North America, we know natural gas has the potential to expand beyond our homes and offices and into our transportation system,” said Wendy Wiedenbeck, community relations advisor for EnCana. “We are committed to building awareness about domestic natural gas as a reliable, lower cost, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuel.”

With air quality standards a top concern in all of its areas of operation, EnCana’s DRIVE NGV program reduces the emissions of its fleet vehicles by converting them to natural gas. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that converted vehicles produces 20 to 40 percent fewer greenhouse emissions than standard gasoline vehicles. EnCana has already converted four of its Ford F250 fleet vehicles in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin to run on bi-fuel natural gas and plans to convert the entire fleet of 52 vehicles by 2011.

“Companies like EnCana with large fleets are ideal candidates for conversion to natural gas,” said Wes Biggers of FuelTek Conversion Corporation. “While it is a large investment, the benefits are enormous. Not only are you reducing your environmental impact but you are looking at a significant reduction in fuel costs.”

EnCana is working in collaboration with its fellow operators, contractor companies, and natural gas transportation industry experts to encourage the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. “One of the biggest barriers facing wide-scale adoption of natural gas vehicles is lack of infrastructure,” said Wiedenbeck. “Increasing support for the installation of new natural gas fueling infrastructure is a big part of our program.” To that end, EnCana is sponsoring multiple educational forums hosted by American Clean Cities. The first such forum is schedule for July 22 in Rifle, Colorado.

To provide employees access to natural gas vehicles, the company acquired eight Honda Civic GX vehicles, rated by the EPA as the cleanest vehicle on Earth. These vehicles are utilized across EnCana’s business units including four in Denver; one in Parachute, Colo.; two in Texas; and one for the Wyoming team’s use. Employees can reserve a natural gas vehicle either for business purposes or as a commuter vehicle. Before getting behind the wheel, employees must attend a training session to learn how DRIVE NGV program vehicles differ from traditional fuel vehicles (e.g. refueling) as well as the virtues of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

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