Conference Slated on Natural Gas Vehicles

Article excerpt

Natural gas and its potential as an alternative fuel will be the main topic at the Continental Conference on Natural Gas Vehicles June 5 and 6 at the University of Oklahoma's Sarkeys Energy Center in Norman.

The conference will examine the technology, as well as the policy, economics and social issues involved in the use of natural gas vehicles.

Co-sponsored by the Sarkeys Energy Center and the Canadian government, the conference will be held in conjunction with the Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge competition, which begins at OU the day after the conference.

Organizing the Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge are the Society of Automotive Engineers; General Motors Corp.; the U.S. Department of Energy; the Energy, Mines and Resources-Canada; and the state of Oklahoma.

The challenge will feature a competition among 24 new pick-up trucks converted to run on natural gas by teams of engineering students from across the United States and Canada. OU is one of the contestants.

"North America has abundant reserves of natural gas," said Barney Groten, executive director of the Sarkeys Energy Center. "One of the most timely and exciting potential uses for natural gas is a clean, safe, `domestic sourced' transportation fuel, and it is fitting that Canada and Oklahoma, who are both leaders in this use of natural gas, co-sponsor this conference."

The Sarkeys Energy Center has many research projects under way focusing on aspects of natural gas from its production to its transportation, distribution and end use. The Energy Center recently completed a three-part "Oklahoma Energy Strategy" in cooperation with the Governor's Energy Advisory Council.

"It is one of the most comprehensive strategies of its kind developed in the nation, and a key recommendation is to encourage the use of natural gas as a vehicular fuel," Groten said.

Early registration for the conference will be from 5 to 7 p.m. June 4, with regular registration from 8 to 9 a.m. June 5. Deadline for preregistration is May 3. …