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02 07, 2012 by Shreveport Times
A crowd of public officials and oil and gas industry representatives gathered Monday afternoon for the ceremonial opening of the first publicly accessible compressed natural gas fueling station in the region, located at the Chevron branded Shop-A-Lott convenience store and truck stop in Mansfield.
Other CNG fuel pumps are located in Red River and Bossier parishes, but those initially opened for private use. More public-use stations are expected to open in the area this year as industry officials push the low-cost, alternate fuel source coming from the Haynesville Shale.
“As gasoline prices continue to rise, the economic benefits of CNG will become even more pronounced. Today, CNG is $1.79 — a price level we haven’t seen in America for many years,” said Paul Pratt, Chesapeake’s director of Corporate Development.
Lott Oil Company President Buddy Lott was lauded for being the first private investor in the state to add CNG. He also opened a second location this month in Alexandria.
A partnership with Chesapeake and an “Empower Louisiana” grant from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources paid for the compressor equipment and dispensers at the station.
“As a company, we see the new CNG fueling station in Mansfield as meeting the growing demand, especially from CNG fleet operators in this area. … We are optimistic more companies will convert their fleets in the future and consumers will gravitate to CNG-powered vehicles as manufacturers produce more CNG models,” Lott said in a prepared statement.
A number of oil and gas companies working in the shale region already have converted portions of their fleet vehicles to CNG. The DeSoto Parish School System this year will become the first school district in the state to convert some of its busses to CNG.
Three are on order and will be utilized in the Mansfield area to take advantage of the Chevron station’s location at the corner of U.S. highways 171 and 84. David Dollar, another Lott Oil spokesman, shared how the company has converted four of its trucks to bi-fuel with the cost expected to be recouped within 10 months through fuel savings.
And Chesapeake expects to save $11.6 million in fuel expenses by converting its fleet to CNG, said Sarie Joubert, Chesapeake’s public affairs manager. Joubert also acknowledged John Adams, one of the owners of Mansfield Motors, which has certified its GM technicians to service CNG vehicles.
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