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Pickens in partnership to develop natural gas engines for drilling rigs

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — T. Boone Pickens is teaming up with a family-run Wyoming business hoping to become the largest maker of natural gas engines for drilling rigs.

The Texas oil tycoon's energy hedge fund, BP Capital, is partnering with Casper-based Moser Energy Systems to create a new company — Mesa Natural Gas Solutions. Moser will continue making the engines and Pickens' fund will promote them. Pickens joined Moser executives in announcing the joint venture Wednesday at its new building in Evansville, the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1h6KGqz ) reported.

Moser's engines convert raw natural gas from oil drilling sites into fuel for the engines, eliminating the need to haul diesel to remote sites that don't have electricity.

With about 95 percent of drilling rigs now fueled by diesel, Pickens said Moser has a lot of potential for growth.

"It is cheaper (and) cleaner, and it's domestic," he said.

Pickens made much of his fortune in oil drilling and has traveled the country championing wind power and other alternative energy forms.

Moser Energy was founded in 1973 and has grown rapidly recently as American energy production has increased. The company's staff has more than doubled in the last 18 months, going from 26 employees to over 60.

Domestically, most of its engines are sent to North Dakota and Texas but it also has been selling them in Ecuador, Venezuela and Oman.

Moser Energy vice president Jakob Norman said it would like to eventually become the biggest supplier of gas-fired engines.

"When you take the people who have the experience in the oil and gas industry, not in America, but worldwide, combine that with a great product, we can now get into basins more quickly than (we could) without those relationships," he said.
 

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