Ways to Make Drilling Cheaper | VideoJennifer Joas | 2/28/2013
With nearly 30 percent of the natural gas in North Dakota being flared, companies could potentially harness that gas and use it in conjunction with diesel to operate drilling rigs. Natural gas is much cheaper than diesel. UND says about 15 of the 181 rigs are using this technology now.
Researchers say it could become the norm but securing lease agreements for pipelines is the biggest challenge.
"Logistics and lease agreements from the gas need to be worked out in order to ensure that once you`ve got a bifuels system operating on a drill rig, you can actually get gas to it and realize their savings," said EERC Senior Research Manager Chad Wocken.
If all the rigs used this new technology, it would save $72 million a year in diesel costs.