Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How about a SUV that is cheaper than a Volt?

To be unveiled here before Christmas - a full size SUV that costs less than $40k new and less than 8 cents/mi for fuel... And NO range anxiety.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Has America gone crazy?

Wind turbines in PA shutdown at night because one bat dies, use of North American crude via a new pipeline (#KeystoneXL) stymied while Middle East ships arrive by the dozens, & US #natgas drilling is threatened by unfounded fears of catastrophic water contamination. C'mon man! Are we TRYING to destroy ourselves? Where's the balance? Have we all gone nuts? Isn't a pipeline safer & cleaner than ships, railcars, & trucks?

Fellow Americans - we must stop listening to critics that offer no feasible alternatives. What does the NY Times and the Baltimore Sun offer as an alternative to Keystone XL? Nothing. Stop listening to them. Stop buying their papers.

Meanwhile there is an cleaner alternative to Keystone XL - install CNG stations on the existing natural gas distribution systems WE ALREADY HAVE. I made a decision after working as a roustabout in the Texas oil field that a natural gas career was much cleaner than an oil career, literally. I drive CNG vehicles now because they are CHEAPER and CLEANER and I don't gag when I'm refueling them from the gasoline fumes.

This country needs "a lot less talk and a lot more action" if we expect to overcome our economic blues. Build the Keystone XL pipeline, drill in the Gulf & the Northeast US, build CNG stations, manufacture more cars that run on CNG & batteries, build wind turbines, keep the modern coal plants running. Cheap energy means high living - why do you think China and the rest of the third world is clamoring for energy supplies? If you are against FEASIBLE & AFFORDABLE energy, then you should give up your lights, your running water (those water pumps require energy...), your TV, & your electronics - then I'll take you at your word.... otherwise, you have another motive that you are trying to keep secret.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Convenient access to CNG in Tulsa

Like many, I commute daily between South Tulsa and Downtown Tulsa.  Here are maps that show how I refuel with CNG conveniently.

Tulsa Gas Technologies at 4809 S. 101st E. Ave. (marked "B" in the Google Map) is easily accessed by exiting the BA at Mingo Road (and avoiding the long line of folks exiting the BA to S 169).


View Larger Map

The other station is a Oklahoma Natural Gas CNG station near 71st and Union in the Tulsa Hills area.


View Larger Map

Other CNG stations can be found at www.cngprices.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bossier City's two new CNG stations

As you may have seen in my tweets over this past weekend, I visited the two new CNG stations in Bossier City, LA.  

Locations:

The stations are CNG and E85 ethanol - two dispensers for each fuel.



Going behind fence and taking a look at the compression equipment; these pictures show the electric motor driven reciprocating compressor and the 5,500 psig storage spheres.  The compressors turn on automatically when the pressure in the spheres drops to preset levels, much as a air compressor operates.


There is room to add more compressors in the future. The compressors were packaged by JW Operating in Kilgore, TX.  According to the nameplates on the various pieces of equipment, most of the components were manufactured in the US.




All of the natural gas for the station is supplied from this small pipeline connection.  It appears to operate at 150 psig - which saves significant compression horsepower compared to other stations I've seen that only have 40 psig supply pressure.

Here's a quick video walkthrough of the station.


This is one of the best stations I've seen - it has redundant compressors, multiple dispensers, and a lot of high pressure storage.  The motor driven compressors insure a quick compressor startup.  Now we need to get a lot more of these installed around the country!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If 60 million bbl SPR release moves oil price, what could CNG do?

The release of 60 million barrels of crude oil and its derivatives from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over 30 days is obviously a short term supply, as the crude oil is not produced, it is simply released from storage.  The global crude oil market consumes approximately 88 million bpd (according to IEA), so this 30 day release of 2 million bpd is 2.25% of the daily oil consumption.

So, imagine what would happen to crude oil prices if just 2.25% of crude oil demand was reduced PERMANENTLY by conversion of the demand to CNG?

According to recent news reports, the US could lose up to $1.5 Billion due to buying high and selling low on the 30 million bbls it's releasing from the SPR.  That's just for 30 days of benefit, because on day 31 guess what the price of crude oil will do?  Go back up!

Meanwhile, House Bill 1380, the Nat Gas Act, would cost between $5 and $9 Billion, but would create PERMANENTLY reduced oil consumption.

The US release of SPR for a 30 day price benefit (which will actually INCREASE oil price by encouraging demand and discouraging increased supply by suppressing price in the near term) makes the case for why the US should incent CNG adoption.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rebutting critics of Nat Gas Act - HR 1380

Some critics argue against subsidies for budget reasons - and they should.  Other critics claim "fracking" will destroy American water supplies - that claim is disingenuous, because it blindly ignores the environmental harm of the incumbent fuel - gasoline.

Regarding the subsidy argument, ask your congressman why the US went into Iraq, twice. Why are we in Libya?  What justification is there for these costs?  I say that it's oil security.  Why are these military costs not considered a "subsidy" for crude oil?

CNG works.  As this blog shows, I've been driving a Honda Civic GX for 18 months and 28,000 miles in Oklahoma.  Infrastructure?  Most of it's already there - most gasoline stations have a natural gas meter connected to the store!  All it takes is a compressor to get the natural gas from that existing meter into my car!  No gasoline tankers twice a day, no refinery, no tank farm, no crude oil hauled from the Middle East.

Regarding "fracking", which sounds more environmentally risky?  Crude oil and gasoline shipped around the world in a bunch of buckets or a complete closed system that flows pressurized fuel from 8,000 ft underground to the injectors in my car?  Please consider that big picture when you are claiming that "fracking" is killing babies while you fuel your car with $3.40/gal gasoline.

Another question to consider - who benefits from the $1.39/gal paid for CNG fuel?  Tracing back from the station - the American station owner and the American workers that built it, the American pipeline company and the American workers that built it, the American producer and the American driller who drilled the well, and finally, the American mineral owner who gets over 10% over the proceeds in royalty checks.  If you follow the money on gasoline, you'll find yourself outside America real soon...

CNG Honda Civic GX trial a huge success

My own trial of CNG began about 18 months ago when I purchased a Honda Civic GX.  At that time, I was only saving about 75 cents/gal; now I'm saving $2.50 per gallon!

The trial has been tremendously successful (28,000 miles on the odometer).  Now as my daughter is about to start driving it's time to expand the "fleet".  We have determined that we will not purchase another vehicle that does not run on CNG.

Key questions I had at the start of the trial:
  • Range? The Civic has been able to go everywhere we want to go in such a small car - Oklahoma City, Neosho, MO, Dallas.  200 miles per tank reliably, as high as 230 miles sometimes.  2 convenient filling locations in Tulsa, one off 169 at 51st St and one off 75 at 71st St, and 5 others scattered about.  Refueling is as easy as gasoline as shown in the 3 minute video.
  • Size?  The trunk is small, but it passed the Target grocery cart test.
  • Speed?  First, it's a Civic... but it can run the turnpike at 85 mph with the cruise set.  
  • Maintenance? Three oil changes and one fuel filter changeout at Joe Marina Honda.  No repairs have been necessary.  The oil at 8,000 miles looks like new oil. 
  • Safety?  I now feel safer with the CNG car than I do with a gasoline car - during refueling, when driving, when parked in the garage.  CNG is lighter than air, is never a liquid.  I love the video and the description of CNG tank testing shown here
Areas for improvement:
  • More fuel stations needed.  It would be so wonderful if QT would put in some stations like the one at the Love's in Kingfisher.
  • More OEM vehicles needed.  Conversions are ok I guess, but I want the simplicity that I have enjoyed with the Civic - one stop shopping and maintenance.
More about the next vehicle search in a future post.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

$6.00 gasoline by this summer? Time to buy a Camaro!

CNBC is reporting that due to the sinking dollar value, gasoline could approach $6 per gallon this summer.   Even though one of my two vehicles doesn't use gasoline, I still feel quite exposed to the high price of gasoline.

Think I'll order a 2011 CNG Camaro...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Breakeven analysis on a Honda Civic GX for Oklahoma

$7,000 more for the GX over the equivalent gasoline LX.

-50% or $3,500 from Oklahoma state income tax CREDIT, not deduction.

$3,500 out of your pocket.

Now for the fuel savings,

$3.50 gasoline vs $1.40 CNG - $2.10 savings per gallon.

35 mpg for both LX and GX.

$3,500 / $2.10 = 1,666 gallons x 35 mpg = 59,000 miles.

I'm glad I bought my Civic when the federal government was handing out $4,000 fed income tax credits.  I have been saving money since I drove it off the Joe Marina lot in late 2009.  You want the fed credit back? Write your congressman to support the NAT GAS act.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The crude oil to natural gas spread keeps growing....

Gasoline is now $3.35/gallon, while CNG is either $1.40 or $0.75 per gge.  The Honda Civic GX is performing excellent - it has 23k miles on it now and has had two oil changes and a fuel filter change per Honda recommended maintenance schedule.  Tulsa Gas Technologies CNG station at their office has proven to be the most reliable station, but it's still nice to have all the ONG locations to enable more trips away from Tulsa.  Just got 220 miles on one fill using TGT's station.

We are now looking to replace our 2004 Honda Pilot with a 2010 Yukon or Tahoe, converted by either CleanFuel in Shawnee or OEM Systems (Carter Chevrolet) in Okarche.  Bi-fuel is required since we use this vehicle to travel into Missouri and Louisiana and Texas.  Additionally, the federal tax credit for dedicated CNG conversions lapsed at the end of 2010, so there's no economic incentive to do a dedicated conversion.  Oklahoma's 50% of the conversion cost tax credit is still active, dropping the conversion cost to less than $6,000.  My calculations show that at 20k annual miles, 15 mpg, and >$3 gasoline the conversion should pay off in 18 months.

Still have the reservation for a Nissan Leaf, but they won't be available in Oklahoma until next year.  Also, the Leaf didn't get great reviews for cold weather driving.  I think I'll still lease one when they finally are available, but for Oklahoma the Honda Civic GX is actually a much better choice since there are so many CNG fueling stations available.

Finally, the home garage mounted Phill is back on the market from Impco.  OEM Systems in Okarche has them in stock.  Thinking seriously about getting one installed when we get the bi-fuel Tahoe.

So, don't fret about gasoline prices if you live in Oklahoma, just call your local Honda dealer and ask for the Civic GX.  Or check out all the vehicles that OEM Systems or CleanFuels or Tulsa Gas Technologies can convert.  Or search the Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa Craigslists for "CNG".  You don't have to put up with gasoline prices driven by the latest doomsday scenario that the media cooks up.