SOURCE: Zeus Development Corporation

April 27, 2007 11:46 ET

Marine CNG Poised for Commercialization as Numerous Projects Reach Funding Stage, Conference to Examine Ramifications

HOUSTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 27, 2007 -- Despite climbing steel prices, the CNG-marine transport industry is rapidly commercializing as markets desperately search for low-cost gas reserves to replace distillate-fueled power. Numerous markets, including Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, and Indonesia, are reaching out to medium-scale reserve owners in an attempt to break their reliance on oil. Their hope is that mid-tier gas reserves, which are too small to support liquefaction (LNG) projects, can be purchased for less than larger reserves.

A survey of producers by Zeus Development Corporation has proven this to be true. In discussions with North African and northern South American producers, those with smaller reserves are willing to sell at prices as low as $2.00/MMBtu.

"In many instances, markets are paying more than $10/MMBtu for distillate fuel oils," said Patrick LaStrapes, president of Zeus. "Project developers who are working with CNG designers see great opportunities to connect high-priced markets to marginal gas reserves."

One such project that is moving ahead rapidly is proposed by Canadian-based Artumas Group Inc. They intend to transport gas from their Mnazi Bay field in Tanzania to Mombasa, Kenya. TransCanada, North America's largest pipeline company, and New York-based OSG Ship Management, Inc., an ocean oil-shipping fleet, will provide the marine CNG ships.

"For our investors, the successful build-out of Artumas' operations in Tanzania is exciting. It clearly proves the validity of the company's gas monetization strategy," Artumas CEO Stephen Mason said. "The results of a pre-FEED analysis conducted in collaboration with TransCanada/OSG suggested that the most cost-effective configuration would involve four to five [CNG] ships in rotation, delivering 35 to 50 MMcfd on a constant-flow basis."

To examine these prospects further, Zeus will host a three-day conference in Houston June 26-28. The first day is devoted to a tour of the Jindal Texas Steel Works in Baytown, Texas, where CNG-containment systems are fabricated. The following two days includes presentations by project developers, major gas producers, like Marathon Oil Company, major marine CNG designers, and steel and equipment suppliers.

The entire program can be viewed at http://www.lngexpress.com/CNG/agenda.asp, or by contacting Amy Nussmeier (713-333-5780, anussmeier@zeusdevelopment.com) or Ashley Kainer (713-333-5782, akainer@zeusdevelopment.com).

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