By Geena Martinez
GARDEN CITY - There's a new trend in the oil and gas industry. Companies are using natural gas instead of diesel fuel to frac for natural gas.
Every business is looking for new ways to save money but what if their strategy had the potential to help the entire country?
For the folks at Apache Corporation, they're trying to make this a reality.
"It is a use of an abundant resource that can help us really take more cost out of the system," Permian Region Vice-President, John Christmann, said.
Christmann is talking about natural gas and Apache is using natural gas instead of diesel to frac for natural gas.
It's a new trend that could save the oil and gas industry billions, here's how:
In 2012, the industry used more than 700 million gallons of diesel to pump sand and water during fracing. That cost about $2.38 billion.
But if companies make the switch to natural gas for fracking, the cost drops to $1.67 billion, reducing costs by about 70%.
"For every dollar we take out of there, that's just another well we can drill," Christmann said. "We can drill more wells in the Permian and ultimately keep the Midland/Odessa economy moving forward."
Not only could this new way of fracking save companies billions of dollars a year but it could also save you money at the pump.
By using field gas, Apache officials estimate the United States could import 17 million barrels of oil less each year. Christmann said these are small steps to becoming an energy independent country.
"Perfect example of how our industry continues to use our own resources to power our own way," he said.
It's also better for the environment.
"It's cleaner fuel so you have less emissions," Christmann said.
Several Apache vehicles are already running on compressed natural gas also known as CNG.
They plan on converting their fleet in a few years and CNG could be coming to a gas station near you.
"It would be cheaper than using gasoline," Christmann said. "We've got a deal that we did with Stripes where they're gonna start selling Apache CNG."