Apache Celebrates Opening of CNG Public Access Fueling Station in Lafayette

 Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) was joined by the Lafayette, La., city-parish president and other local dignitaries to commemorate the opening of the company's first public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Louisiana.

"The state of Louisiana is a leader in supporting increased use of natural gas," said Rod Eichler, Apache's president and chief operating officer. "The addition of this CNG fueling station in Lafayette is a step toward building the infrastructure needed to fuel America's cars and trucks with natural gas, a cleaner-burning and abundant domestic resource."

Eichler and several Louisiana dignitaries attended the opening ceremony held at the Apache-branded station at 515 East Verot School Road. The event showcased a variety of natural gas-powered vehicles, including some of the city's natural gas-powered buses. Lafayette is in the process of converting its entire fleet of buses and many of its city vehicles to natural gas power.

Dignitaries on hand to show their support for the station included: Joey Durel, Lafayette city-parish president; Keith Mosing, chairman and CEO of Frank's; Rob Guidry president and CEO of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce; and Gifford Briggs, vice president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, which has been a strong partner with Apache in its efforts to increase the use of CNG in vehicles.

"The infrastructure investment to enable Lafayette's deployment of CNG is critical," Durel said. "This investment is helping to forge partnerships, both public and private, that are decreasing the operating costs of private companies and governments in our area. Congratulations to Apache, and thank you to our many partners who are helping to ensure that this investment will be a true success for all of Lafayette."

Guidry said the station helps provide momentum for increased CNG conversion.

"This event reflects a major advancement of the Chamber's goal of expanding the market for CNG," said Guidry. "Apache's leadership in investing in this infrastructure provides strong impetus to those considering conversion programs."

The site of the station was chosen in large part because of its proximity to a concentration of large public and private natural gas fleet vehicles. Apache's CNG fueling station will provide local government, private industry and the public with an economic and environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline.

"Frank's is pleased to do its part in getting this natural gas filling station opened," said Mosing of Frank's, which provided the land for the Apache-branded station. "There is an abundance of natural gas available and I believe we are heading in the right direction to continue to develop and use natural gas as a fuel source."

CNG-powered vehicles showcased at the event included:
Lafayette City-Parish bus
Lafayette Parish Sheriff's patrol car
Frank's 3/4-ton Chevrolet field service truck
Apache Corp.'s Tahoe and Chevrolet Silverado
Ford Westport LD OEM F-250 truck
LEAM Drilling service vehicle
Ford Expedition of Gifford Briggs, vice president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association
Acadian Ambulance as converted by Tony Parich, owner of Control Tech.

The station boasts two dual-hose fueling dispensers capable of fueling four cars simultaneously at a rate of three-to-four gallons equivalent per minute. The self-service station accepts a broad range of credit cards, as well as standard fleet cards.

The station is unattended, but customers may contact an Apache representative with questions about CNG refueling anytime by calling a toll-free number posted on the fueling pumps.

Apache currently has converted 274 vehicles to run on CNG and plans to convert a total of 350 of its fleet by year's end. By 2015, the company expects to have 80 percent of its 1,000-plus fleet in the U.S. converted.

Apache also offers financial incentives to its full-time employees who choose to switch to CNG. All full-time Apache employees who purchase a new dedicated CNG vehicle or convert their vehicle to CNG receive a $5,000 Visa credit card for purchasing fuel.

Currently, there are more than 120,000 natural gas vehicles on U.S. roads today and more than 15 million worldwide, according to NGVAmerica. Industry data shows that vehicular natural gas nearly doubled between 2003 and 2009. In 2010, natural gas displaced more than 350 million gasoline gallon equivalents. The International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles estimates that within 10 years there will be more than 50 million natural gas vehicles – or, about 9 percent of the world's transportation fleets – on the road worldwide.​

This article was first published by Yahoo! Finance.

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