Chesapeake Alumni Target Region Centered on Oklahoma City,
‘We Can Supply the Intellectual Capital & the Investment Capital’
Three former leaders of Chesapeake Energy’s compressed natural gas vehicles efforts – which ended abruptly as the E&P company retrenched this past September – have emerged with the new Sparq Natural Gas, LLC. They are moving quickly to help establish a fueling infrastructure for NGVs, and provide consulting and advisory services.
Sparq’s first priority is “aggressive speculative regional infrastructure development,” says co-founder and CEO Norman Herrera, “growing our list of targeted CNG locations for development across our regional footprint” – Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Arkansas.
Sparq co-founders include fellow former Chesapeake men Sufyan Qarni as COO and Tristan Adler as CFO. With them, Sparq boasts “expertise, relationships, and abilities not found elsewhere in the industry,” Herrera says. The team sees strong natural gas market possibilities for retail, consumer and fleet light duty pickup trucks and cars in heavy population centers and in areas “that are home to oil and gas production and exploration.”
Sparq is “actively soliciting investors to fund equipment and construction costs for CNG stations located at existing third-party operated convenience store sites,” Herrera told F&F.
“Sparq Natural Gas will own and operate the CNG refueling equipment on site,” he says.
The firm has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for money for six CNG fueling stations in four counties under TERP, TCEQ’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan.
Sparq has also just proposed a CNG station for Pueblo, Colo. – part of what Herrera calls “the critical I-25 arterial.”
The company hopes to cash in on relationships with fleet operators, natural gas wholesalers, automotive OEMs and aftermarket converters, oil and gas producers, and CNG equipment manufacturers. “Our founders have successfully developed and managed all aspects of CNG station investment partnerships with fuel retailers such as Love’s Travel Stops, OnCue Express, Dandy Mini Marts, Lott Oil, and IGS Energy,” states a marketing presentation.
‘A Unique Partner’
Sparq says it’s “a unique partner for the development of CNG fueling stations because we can supply both the intellectual capital and the investment capital needed to efficiently move from the concept stage to commercial operation and profitability.
“We provide integrated, end-to-end development services and solutions for new commercial stations,” Sparq says, covering market analysis, site selection, gas utility logistics, equipment selection, contract negotiations, project management, and back-end financial operations.
Once a customer commits to building CNG infrastructure with Sparq, the company executes such “proactive marketing strategies” as direct outreach to area fleet managers, facilitating fleet conversions to CNG and dual-fuel operation, station promotion through earned media, paid advertising, and partnering with local dealerships to spur NGV sales.
Sparq says it “doesn’t subscribe to the ‘if you build it, they will come’ approach.”
The firm says it will handle public affairs and advocacy, and consumer engagement and social media too.
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Source: Sparq Natural Gas with Fleets & Fuels follow-up