Praxair & Pemex Sign Ink Deal for EOR Project in Southern Mexico

Praxair has signed a 15-year contract with the Mexican state oil company, Pemex, 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.