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ST. PAUL, Minn. and OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- With fuel prices reaching yet another mid-February record today, many would argue the need for petroleum alternatives clearly exists, and one of the top hydrocarbon alternatives is compressed natural gas (CNG). Now, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and 3M Co. are teaming up in an effort to reduce the most expensive part of a CNG-powered vehicle: its fuel tank.
Natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy and 3M, known for its Post-it brand, will collaborate to design, manufacture and market a broad portfolio of CNG tanks for use in all areas of the U.S. transportation market, the companies announced in a joint statement. The product will combine 3M's proprietary liner advancements, thermoplastic materials, barrier films, coatings and damage-resistant films that will result in a cheaper CNG tank, according to the announcement.
"3M believes in the potential of natural gas, and this agreement illustrates our commitment to the industry," said George Buckley, chairman, president and CEO of 3M. "We are excited about this collaboration to speed the development and adoption of natural gas-powered vehicles."
The new CNG tank is expected to be available for sale during the fourth quarter of this year.
Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon said the new product would advance the natural gas transportation fuel market, which provides a cheaper fuel than petroleum and offers a supply that could power the U.S. market for more than 100 years.
"We applaud 3M for recognizing the future of natural gas as a low-cost, cleaner alternative to gasoline, and for creating innovative tank technology that will make natural gas vehicles more affordable and accessible to fleets and individual consumers nationwide," said McClendon. "Our country needs a solution to break the foreign stranglehold on our fuels market, and [this] is another step to transition our nation away from costly imports."