Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, an Oklahoma City-based and family-owned operator of more than 290 travel stops and convenience stores, announced a schedule of grand opening events for six of 10 publicly accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations. Construction began in December shortly after Love's announced its commitment to offer CNG fueling stations at several of its existing locations across Oklahoma. Thanks to a partnership with Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Love's will now offer CNG in Altus, Chickasha, Guthrie, Lawton, Norman and Oklahoma City. Love's plans to open four additional CNG fueling stations – in Pauls Valley, Okemah and Guymon, as well as a second in Oklahoma City – also in 2012 as part of the partnership.
The grand opening schedule includes:
- May 4:Chickasha
- May 11: Altus
- June 8:Guthrie
- June 12: Lawton
- July 13: Oklahoma City (NE 122nd and I-35)
- July 13: Norman
"We recognize the importance of expanding our fueling options to meet the diverse needs of our customers," said Jenny Love Meyer, Love's Vice President of Communications. "As more and more corporate and government entities convert their fleets to CNG, we believe demand on the commercial and consumer side will escalate accordingly. We are pleased to partner with Chesapeake to improve accessibility for CNG, a fuel produced in Oklahoma."
The addition of 10 new CNG stations brings the company's CNG infrastructure count to 11 and gives Oklahoma more than 70 existing or planned public CNG stations. Love's opened its first CNG fueling station in 2011 in Kingfisher where several companies, including Chesapeake, operate CNG fleet vehicles. CNG currently sells for $1.69 per gallon equivalent, making it a less expensive fueling option for consumer and fleet vehicles alike.
"Love's leadership commitment to open 10 additional CNG fueling locations was a major endorsement for the future of CNG," said Taylor Shinn, Chesapeake Senior Director of Corporate Development. "CNG continues to have the potential to be a major player in the transportation fuels market, not only in our state but across the country. As two Oklahoma-based companies, we are proud to support and expand the use of clean, affordable, and Oklahoma-produced natural gas."
Each grand opening event will feature remarks from Love's and Chesapeake representatives, as well as local and state officials. Attendees will also include representatives from local companies that have already converted their fleets to CNG and those considering conversion. The group will gather for a ceremonial "first fill" of a natural gas vehicle at the fueling station to commemorate the event.
In 2009, leaders in the Oklahoma Legislature enacted alternative fuel legislation, spurring an increase in the number of public CNG fueling stations across the state. In the past two years, the number of public CNG stations in Oklahoma has nearly tripled from 26 to more than 70 existing or planned stations today.
"Oklahoma lawmakers enacted model legislation because they understand how more demand for natural gas benefits our state's economy, both through increased production and potentially billions in fuel savings for Oklahomans. Recently, other states have followed Oklahoma's lead to spur CNG infrastructure development and natural gas demand in their areas," said Shinn. "This is yet another classic case of Oklahoma's leadership in the energy sector."
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