Drilling rigs for shale gas use a lot of electricity to power the equipment—so much electricity each drill site uses enough generators to power an entire town. Drillers make their own electricity rather than draw from the local power grid. Almost all electrical generators at well sites are powered by diesel engines. But a few enterprising companies are offering alternatives to diesel. Hey, why not use natural gas to power those engines, since you’re drilling for natural gas!
Linde North America is one of those enterprising companies. CONSOL Energy’s gas division is experimenting with a dual-fuel technology that combines liquefied natural gas (LNG) with diesel, blending them together, a technology being pioneered by Linde. CONSOL is currently testing it with three generators in the Marcellus, and according to Linde and CONSOL, the early results are promising.