GE”s Gas Engines Powering First LNG-Fueled Drilling Rigs in Giant Unconventional Gas Field

In October 2012, Seneca Resources and Ensign Drilling converted their first rig, which is operating in Lycoming County, Pa. The second rig was converted to LNG in November 2012 and was assigned to Seneca’s Marcellus Shale gas leases in Forest, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties.

The gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation is located in sections of Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.

“We are excited to work with our partner Seneca Resources to implement this innovative project that is using LNG in GE’s proven Jenbacher gas engines to reduce the environmental impacts of energy production while giving communities in Pennsylvania the opportunity to share in the economic benefits of developing the Marcellus Shale gas reserves,” said Robert Geddes, president and CEO of Ensign Drilling.

Ensign Drilling operates 15 drilling rigs exclusively on natural gas in the United States-with 11 of them exclusively using GE’s Jenbacher gas engines. The latest project with Seneca Resources further underscores the oil and gas industry’s increased deployment of more efficient and cleaner on-site power solutions.

“Our fuel-flexible Jenbacher gas engine technology offers customers lower-emission on-site power generating capabilities, making it ideally suited to support Seneca Resources and Ensign Drilling’s LNG initiative that will serve as a model for other operators in the Marcellus Shale region,” said Roger George, North America general manager-Gas Engines for GE Power & Water.

Powering a drill rig with natural gas instead of diesel can result in 60 percent lower fuel costs. LNG also represents a cleaner alternative to diesel for the transportation industry and trucks, reducing overall combustion emissions up to 25 percent. Truck fleets also can often reduce fuel costs by more than 25 percent with LNG.

GE’s unconventional resources solutions, consisting of more than 40 technologies from across the GE portfolio, are addressing fundamental industry challenges, helping customers to improve operational performance, reduce their environmental footprint, increase resource recovery and drive demand for natural gas.