Petroleum Alumnus and Team Develop Mobile Fracturing Unit that Alleviates Environmental Impact
A new concept in the petroleum industry came to life in November 2012 in the form of a mobile fracturing fleet run by electric motors and fueled by natural gas. A 1978 petroleum engineering alumnus from LSU and his team are to thank.
U.S. Well Services CEO Brian Stewart developed Clean Fleet®, the first fully-mobile, fully-electric, hydraulic fracturing fleet. This modern approach replaces every diesel engine with electric motors and turbine-generators.
Clean Fleet®, patented in July 2014, uses a combination of different technologies used elsewhere in the industry to design a fleet that has lower NOx and CO emissions (decreased by 99 percent), less noise pollution and a smaller physical footprint. The system accommodates 3500 hydraulic horsepower (HHP) on one trailer compared to 2250 HHP on a conventional fleet, and reduces the number of tractor-trailers on site, alleviating the environmental impact.
Stewart contributes his opportunities and success to his education at LSU’s College of Engineering, along with his mentors, including his father and petroleum engineering professor Mr. Bill Hise.
“Hise taught you how to communicate and sell an idea utilizing data and economics that supported a recommendation,” Stewart recounted.
Lessons like those helped the LSU alumnus transform his idea of a cleaner, safer and less expensive fracturing system into a business. This patented technology is an environmentally-friendly alternative that enables equipment to work closer to populous areas with little disturbance.
“This technology allows the oil industry and communities we serve to coexist,” Stewart said.
The Algiers, La., native credits LSU for preparing him for this game-changer in his career. In addition to classroom lessons, he says, LSU carries many other great aspects.
“You get the full college experience, including academics, athletics, and social life that shapes you and enables you to address challenges and turn them into opportunities,” he said.
For engineering students with entrepreneurial mindsets, Stewart advises that pursuing an MBA or minor in business allows one to identify a need, develop a solution and then commercialize that solution.
After Stewart’s freshman year at LSU, his interest shifted from building roads and bridges to oil and gas wells. That is when he decided petroleum engineering was the best fit for him. During Stewart’s junior year at LSU, he met his now wife of 35 years, and together they have two sons and five grandchildren.
Written by Erica Pater, assistant manager of alumni relations, College of Engineering.