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Tidelands Plans Gulf LNG Terminal Offshore Mexico

Tidelands Plans Gulf LNG Terminal Offshore Mexico

San Antonio-based Tidelands Oil & Gas Corp. announced plans Thursday to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal offshore Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico. The project would be capable of delivering gas to both U.S. and Mexican markets and to a proposed storage facility that Tidelands is planning in the Brasil Field in northeastern Mexico's Burgos Basin.

Tidelands has signed an agreement with Remora Technology to use Remora's HiLoad LNG Regasification Terminal design, which has been funded in part by ConocoPhillips. The design is for a floating terminal that attaches to an LNG tanker and directly vaporizes the LNG as it is offloaded, eliminating the need for above ground storage tanks. The terminal will inject gas directly into offshore pipelines at rates between 250 MMcf/d and 1.4 Bcf/d.

"We have been highly impressed with Remora's HiLoad LNG Regasification Terminal and have quickly determined its tremendous potential for our business strategies and plans in Mexico," said Tidelands CEO Michael Ward. "Our plans are to make this terminal off the coast of Mexico an integral part of the proposed storage hub in the Burgos Basin."

Tidelands has formed several companies to develop storage fields and multiple large diameter pipelines crossing the Texas-Mexico border. Currently, Tidelands subsidiary Arrecefe Management is in the early stages and permitting phase of two international gas pipelines at the Progreso, TX-Nuevo Progreso, Mexico border (30-inch diameter) and the Mission, TX-Arguelles, Mexico (36-inch diameter line) border. Its Reef International subsidiary constructed a pipeline between Eagle Pass, TX and Piedras Negras, Mexico that began flowing gas on Nov. 1, 2003. The natural gas is distributed by Conagas.

Meanwhile, Tidelands subsidiary Terranova Energia is working toward the development of the underground gas storage facility at the Brasil Field. Several geological studies have been completed and the company has received bids for drilling and rework. It expects finalization of the contract with Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, on the storage facility in the near term.

"This proposed [LNG] terminal facility, when developed along with our proposed underground natural gas storage facility and pipeline interconnections, will be the most dynamic energy network along the Gulf Coast," said Ward. "It will enable Tidelands to provide a more comprehensive service to the Mexico energy markets and [will] allow Mexico to better manage both swing demands and price fluctuations within their energy markets."

Ward said that if the Mexican gas market along the Gulf Coast becomes saturated, the company will be able to send gas to U.S. markets as well. "Total off-take capacity of the HiLoad LNG Regasification Terminal could be 500 MMBtu/d to Mexico, 450 MMBtu/d to storage and 500 MMBtu/d to U.S. markets," said Ward.

Remora President Lars Odeskaug said the terminal is the end product of four years of design work, and the Tidelands deal is its commercial break-through. "The combination of the offshore HiLoad LNG Regas Terminal with Tidelands' onshore storage and gas distribution facility is an excellent fit," he said.

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