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KINGFISHER, Okla. -- Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores celebrated the opening of its first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station here last week, The Oklahoman reported.
The Oklahoma City-based chain of convenience stores and truck stops dabbled with the gasoline alternative in the 1980s, but there wasn't sufficient demand for the fuel then. Company spokeswoman Jenny Love Meyer said circumstances have changed.
This time also is different because Love's is partnering with Chesapeake Energy Corp., which will supply natural gas for the fueling station. Chesapeake has been an advocate for CNG as a transportation fuel, and is in the process of converting its own fleet of about 4,000 trucks to run on CNG.
Meyer told the newspaper that the Kingfisher, Okla., CNG station -- which will help fuel Chesapeake's fleet in the area -- is a test case for Love's. The company doesn't have any definitive plans to add CNG at any of its other 260 locations, she said.
"This is the first of what we hope will be more CNG fueling stations at Love's locations across Oklahoma and the rest of the country as the market develops," Meyer added.
Oklahoma has about 40 public CNG fueling stations in Oklahoma, according to Central Oklahoma Clean Cities, including 11 in the Oklahoma City metro area. CNG was selling for $1.39 a gasoline gallon equivalent Thursday, while gas was priced at $3.29 a gallon.
However, demand for CNG hasn't developed enough yet to interest QuikTrip, another Oklahoma-based convenience chain. "Right now it's just not on our radar," spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said. "It's like any other commodity. If there was a huge consumer demand for it, we'd be doing it."