Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Back to the Future

Interesting bit of competition going on in the news snippet that Giant Eagle beat out EQT with a new public natural gas fueling station in the region.  The story says it is the first.  

First in the modern era that is.  There were natural gas stations around town open to the public in the not too distant past.  I take they all went away over the last decade or so.  So.. how many non-fleet natural gas vehicles are there actually in the Pittsburgh region these days I wonder?  Anyone? The news story was constrained to quote how many natural gas Honda's there are in the entire US, no mention of the local number.  I knew one person who had a personal natural gas car in town once. 

There was some other news story I can't find about folks are pushing a cross-Pennsylvania network of natural gas fueling stations.  Out in Washington State they have a similar plan just announced for a network of electric charging stations for cars. 

Random neuron...   Ten years ago this week:  US average regular conventional gasoline cost $1.35 a gallon at retail. With those fuelperks gasoline probably felt like it was free, or would if it ever came back down to that. 


Anonymous The Wiz said...

The New Castle News used to have vans that ran on CNG in the 70's I even bought a used one that still had the tank and a dashboard switch to run on either gas or gasoline but the special carburetor had been removed. Several other fleets like taxis used to use CNG but most stopped during the 80's.

How many non-fleet? Very, very few as there were no public CNG filling stations. Fleet owners usually put in their own private stations as did the municipalities that ran buses on CNG. And a home system currently costs $2000 and takes all night to refill.

The only complaint was a little less power but the engines ran so clean that oil change mileage doubled as did spark plug life and they had way fewer mechanical problems.

I saw a story a few weeks back that the Philly airport was converting all ground vehicles to CNG....don't know if the Pittsburgh airport will do so.

You can buy a Honda Civic from dealers that run on CNG (for approx $6,000 more)and General Motors just announced a partnership with an Indiana company to develop CNG engines for various GM models.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Wiz, man, it is pretty amazing you being such a long time natural gas kind of guy now having drilliable land all these decades later. Small world I guess. You never let us know how the auction went??

I guess what I was asking is whether anyone can cite a number for how many of those Honda CNG cars are anywhere in SW Pennsylvania. The news story just left it with the factoid of how many were in the US which I suspect says little about what we have here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:57:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Rather than an auction we decided to go with a negotiated deal, which is still ongoing. Having many local companies bought out by global majors slowed down the process considerably but we are getting close to an agreement. Hopefully, within a month or two. Those big boys have lots of layers of bureaucracies to go through.

Yeah, strange I had a van that used to run on CNG, a converted '80 Ford Econoline, but not while I owned it.

The Honda CNG was available in only four states. They are pretty popular in Oklahoma where CNG stations are common. Wyoming is also an area that has them. You can also drive from Los Angeles to Denver on CNG.

There are probably only a couple in SW Pa as the only way to fuel it is a home an extra $2000 on top of the $6000 premium for the car.

You can convert farm tractors to run on CNG so all those farmers with wells may convert also.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Like waiting for Godot eh? I'm fascinated that the most knowledgeable landowner(s) seems to be the one(s) waiting the longest to lease their Marcellus rights. I'm sure it makes sense for you, the question is why does it not make sense to others to have held out so long?

Anyway, I may have a dedicated Marcellus post for you tomorrow, so be sure to tune in. It's a puzzle of sorts.. or maybe more of a brain teaser.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I've been moving to trying cycling as my alternative to gas. So far it hasn't worked well (I keep getting headaches if I wear a helmet) but at least it hasn't cost me eight thousand.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Chris; Every situation is different. Some people need the bonus money quickly. But the biggest issue is that few people understand all the pitfalls of a standard lease. People are trusting by nature and they believe what the land men tell them. There are many loopholes in a standard lease that people don't understand and that require good knowledge to avoid. And most people don't have the time to study all the issues or don't know where to start. To top it off, it is so complex and confusing that people give up trying to understand it all.

Many of the current opponents of drilling are people that signed a standard lease and got severely burned. People signed leases assuming that when a well was drilled all would return to normal after it was completed. But now they are stuck with compressor stations, frac ponds, storage facilities and more.

And even few lawyers understand a gas lease...but many are getting up to speed. There are so many loopholes to be aware of. Always amazed that the PG or Trib never did an article on leasing...or if they did, I am sorry I missed them.

MH; I do my cycling on my mountain bike in the woods.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

But you joined the big pool of folks auctioning off their rights together?

Friday, July 15, 2011 6:25:00 AM  

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