DANBURY, Conn., March 11, 2005 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) has signed a 15-year contract with the Mexican state oil company, Pemex (Petroleos Mexicanos), to build, own and operate two air separation plants to supply nitrogen for enhanced oil recovery operations in Samaria and adjacent oilfields in the state of Tabasco in southeastern Mexico.
When operations begin in March 2007, each plant will produce 95 million cubic feet/day of nitrogen (approx. 3,400 tons/day each) which will be fed under high pressure to multiple injection points in the existing oilfield. The nitrogen plants' compressors will be gas turbine-driven, using natural gas supplied by Pemex.
Pemex expects that this nitrogen injection operation, in conjunction with new wells and well repairs, will increase the field's current output, allowing recovery of an additional 470 million barrels of light crude oil and 540 billion cubic feet of natural gas through 2018. These oilfields were first brought on-stream in 1973.
"Enhanced oil recovery is becoming a significant contributor to increasing the global supply of crude oil," said Praxair's Chairman and CEO Dennis Reilley. "These plants were designed and engineered for reliable performance and ease of maintenance. Combined with Praxair's major presence in Mexico and our experienced team to execute this long-term project, these were key factors in winning the contract," Reilley added.
Reilley also said that Praxair is currently engaged in other major enhanced oil recovery projects as well as oil and gas well fracturing in both the U.S. and Canada.
Pemex is the ninth largest integrated oil company in the world with 2004 sales of $69.1 billion. It is the sole producer of crude oil, natural gas and refined products in Mexico and a key crude supplier to the U.S.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2004 sales of $6.6 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.