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SHELL, SDG&E OPEN NATURAL GAS FUELING STATION

 SHELL, SDG&E OPEN NATURAL GAS FUELING STATION
 ESCONDIDO, Calif., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Shell Oil Co. and San


Diego Gas & Electric today opened this community's first public fueling station for natural gas-powered vehicles (NGVs).
 The NGV fueling dispenser is located at the Shell service station at El Norte Parkway and Nutmeg Street, in Escondido. This is Shell's first public NGV station in San Diego County. Shell operates NGV stations in Sacramento, Calif., Louisiana, and in Houston, Odessa and Lubbock, Texas.
 "The opening of this facility reflects Shell's ongoing commitment to making environmental concerns a priority in our business operations," said Bill Schutzenhofer, Shell vice president of marketing. "This project has the potential to be good for the environment while meeting a growing demand for natural gas among fleet users."
 Shell's facility is California's first NGV fueling location where the host oil company will actually handle the retail sales of natural gas using credit cards or cash. Prior to a recent change in state law, only a regulated utility could sell natural gas at the retail level for vehicle use.
 "This change in state law has been a terrific step in helping to cement Shell's role in supporting our efforts to make this clean fuel available to the general public," said Jack Thomas, president of SDG&E. "The change means that Shell or any retailer can sell our natural gas or natural gas they may own and want to ship into California. We'll be glad to transport as much gas as we can."
 Currently, SDG&E has three fueling stations for its own fleet vehicles and for those operated by local private fleets. SDG&E also operates one school bus station in Vista, Calif., a mass-transit station in Oceanside, Calif., and two public stations, one in Vista, the other in El Cajon, Calif. SDG&E is in the process of building an additional eight stations in San Diego County during the next 12 months. SDG&E plans to continue building natural-gas fueling locations throughout San Diego County through 1995.
 "Shell believes that reformulated gasoline will be the predominate choice in meeting the nation's fuel needs. However, we recognize that clean-air fuels of all types may become components in the strategy to attain clean-air standards in the most severe non- attainment cities," said Schutzenhofer. "As a part of Shell's commitment to improved environmental performance, we are pleased to join with SDG&E to market compressed natural gas at this service station."
 SDG&E sees the Shell/SDG&E project as another step in its effort to make natural gas a viable vehicle fuel.
 "The marketing of natural gas as a motor vehicle fuel will have impacts at several levels," said Thomas. "Natural gas is lower in cost but, more importantly, it is a clean-fuel alternative that has the potential to contribute to improved air quality in Southern California.
 "Additionally, sales have the potential to help lower costs to all natural-gas users by spreading gas system capital costs over a greater number of customers," added Thomas.
 Currently in the United States there are close to 50,000 natural gas-powered vehicles, with about 1,200 in California -- and more than 100 in San Diego County. Most of the vehicles are vans and light trucks in commercial fleets. SDG&E has 60 NGVs, both converted and factory made, in its fleet.
 Natural-gas storage cylinders are built to more rigorous standards than gasoline tanks. And being lighter than air, natural gas rapidly disperses if released, instead of pooling on the ground.
 Thomas added, "We aim eventually to be just a natural-gas fuel supplier and transporter. We need fuel retailers like Shell to market natural gas to help achieve this fuel's clean-air benefits in San Diego."
 -0- 9/2/92
 /CONTACT: Becky Nash of Shell, 713-241-4543; or Fred Vaughn of SDG&E, 619-696-4308/ CO: Shell Oil Co.; San Diego Gas & Electric ST: California IN: OIL UTI SU: JVN


EH-SE -- SD002 -- 5874 09/02/92 11:28 EDT
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Date:Sep 2, 1992
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