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  • 2 Natural Gas Stocks To Buy [View article]
    When Ann Richards was Governor of TX, there was legislation to the effect that all municipal fleets were urged to use "Texas NG" as fuel as it was local, available, and inexpensive. It didn't really get off the ground, back then, but the reality was there. Police didn't like it due to its power decrease from gasoline vehicles (when approx. 200 horsepower was a "high performance engine"). Over time, municipal fleets eased into ng fuels for lesser maintenance costs on those ng engines (mainly local city bus fleets, on an opportunity basis).

    GM and Ford offered some CNG factory-produced vehicles in the 1990s. Mainly to satisfy fleet customers. Limited sales due to the "localized" nature of where fuels were available.

    GM, Ford, and (the earlier) Chrysler Corp offered cng option on their HD2500 pickups, with only an 8 gallon gasoline tank (for emergency use). These were not true "work trucks" as the conversion package took up all space in the bed in front of the rear wheels and had to be the HD2500 models with larger V-8 engines. Not big sellers, especially as the small V-8 1/2 diesel options have become what they are (for fuel economy issues).

    A few years ago, I recall reading an article on WPRT, at a time when WPRT's lack of profits was an issue. The article stated that when the North American market was filtered out of WPRT's financials, it was profitable everywhere else in the world. At that time, it was not that far from profitability in NA, but this was a few years ago and it seems to have missed the predictions of that particular author. "Why" this has not happened might be of interest!

    WPRT's main "trump" is allegedly its many patents and such on technology it has developed. Few others seem to be interested in working around those patents when it's much more feasible to pay license fees and such instead?

    There has been a parallel between CLNE and WPRT, for many. Each relies on the other, to a certain extent. CLNE, though, has a certain level of competition in that industry. There have seemed to be many who are bearish on CLNE as they seem to be on WPRT, based on investment performance in the short term. Much has been ballyhooed about how many fleets are adding ng-fueled vehicles, even if their addition might be 50 trucks or so, in one particular region, out of a thousand or so total vehicles.

    Perhaps the "better read" would be on which ng fuel providers are expanding and where? CLNE has many metro-area fuel points (many for private fleets in these areas, a few for public use), for example. CLNE has some "built-but-not operating" fuel stations at some truck stops on Interstate highways (many are allegedly "lng" and not "cng"). And, somewhat quietly, Trillium is building a fuel station on I-20 west of Fort Worth, TX. 3000psi and 3600psi levels, as I recall. This particular station is NOT near any trucking hub, just I-20 about 40 minutes west of Fort Worth. Not a huge station, but all real estate around it is "open land". If you didn't get off of the Interstate, you'd not know it was there.

    I feel there is MORE to the WPRT "story" than just what the financial reports might indicate. Yet such reports are a main focus of this group and others similar to it. At the current levels, there can be much to be made and little to lose, it appears.
    Jan 25, 2015. 08:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GASFRAC Energy Service's (GSFVF) CEO Mark Williamson on Q3 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    At the time I first read of propane gel fracturing in the Eagle Ford, there had been much discussion of issues related to hydraulic fracturing in the Fort Worth, TX region. Minor earthquakes, water use (and related trucking issues damaging roadways), and contamination of surface water wells (with on-going litigation between landowners and production entities). Given these things, when I researched Gasfrac, it looked like a "no brainer" that this would be the future of their industry. Therefore, I started by be interested in Gasfrac and followed its stock prices.

    Unfortunately, my initial enthusiasm for Gasfrac has obviously not been shared by others . . . in the industry or the investment community . . . for an extended period of time. Or might I be more enthusiastic about the process than those orchestrating it? Or might "the industry" be more invested in hydro-fracturing technology and not in a position to desire to change anytime soon?

    On the operations side, obviously the Gasfrac entity has made some sub-optimal business decisions, resulting in management changes and such. It also greatly disturbs me that their technology has not been more sought after, considering the issues with earthquakes and (alleged) ground water pollution. If I was an industry CEO, whose company was under attack for alleged issues, I would suspect that a transition to gel-fracturing would be something to brag about, but that's not happened, that I've seen.

    It also disturbs me that Gasfrac appears to be moving into hydro-fracturing as a means of staying alive, financially. Might it be that Gasfrac is now in more "damage control mode", although seeming to make progress from earlier sub-optimal management decisions, than being able to leverage their environmental advantages in the mainstream media and otherwise? Or is gel-fracturing a much more niche market, optimal only in certain formations, than we might be aware of?

    It appears that Gasfrac's management hasn't gotten the company "out of the hole" just yet, but more daylight is being seen as time progresses. The move to incorporate hydro-fracturing into their product mix sends me the signal that something has failed, be it media-related, management issues, or otherwise. The loss of the apparent revenue stream from owner-supplied "gas" also troubles me, which might be something they're doing just to get the business of being at the wellsite. Plus the possibility that their well "partners" (on the particular wells) might seek to eventually consider getting into that business themselves.

    The reason for that last remark was something we observed in the later 1980s in western North Texas. In that localized oil boom, there were "rathole services". As the boom progressed, much money was obviously flowing as many younger people got into that industry, first as workers for established services, then as their own operators as they learned the business and wanted a larger "piece of the pie" of profits. Not unusual to see Cadillacs and Lincolns beside of trailer houses in the country, back then. A few years later, those cars were in the repo lines of dealerships and the trailer houses abandoned.

    I still believe gel-fracturing to be "the future" of the fracturing industry, yet hydro-fracturing is the dominant force to be reckoned with. "Hydro" is what's known and accepted. "Hydro" is where the infrastructure is, plus related jobs in that industry. Until that playing field changes, "gel" might not see any significant growth, I suspect. Earthquake issues and EPA issues can have an effect upon these things, as time progresses, I suspect.

    Might Gasfrac need a media department to make the general public aware of their product? I still see promise in their gel product, plus the need for some financial adjustments, but I feel it's a shame the company is still seeming to flounder when it should be growing in all aspects, all things considered.

    Nov 15, 2014. 11:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gasfrac's (GSFVF.PK -14.6%) management shakeup, including the immediate departure of its CEO and COO, sends shares swooning. CFO Jim Hill will lead the company as president and CEO on an interim basis, and current operations personnel will assume COO duties. The oil and gas technology company also will undertake an operational review. [View news story]
    I'm more "in love" with the technology and the potential of such technology to do what it's supposed to do. After the MANY concerns of water-based operations in TX, PA, and other states, their technology looks pretty good.
    Sep 12, 2012. 03:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment