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    Conoco plans shuttle tankers for Gulf of Mexico

    News // February 15, 2002
    Conoco reiterated its intention to use shuttle tankers in the deep water areas of the Gulf of Mexico, and says it has formed an alliance with a ship designer and shipyard to have American-built shuttle tankers ready for service in the Gulf of Mexico as early as 2004.

    A recent ruling by the US Minerals Management Service (MMS) allows the use of floating storage vessels and crude oil shuttle tankers in deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico that are far beyond the reach of subsea pipelines.

    Conoco currently operates six crude oil transport tankers in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, serving US ports, and one shuttle tanker in the North Sea. In the North Sea, Conoco also operates the floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO)Banff and the shuttle tanker Randgrid.

    For shuttling services in the Gulf of Mexico, Conoco's wholly owned affiliate, Seahorse Shuttling and Technology LLC (Seahorse), has formalized an alliance with the Alabama Shipyard of Mobile, Alabama, and Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea to develop a design and construction plan that could have American-built shuttle tankers ready for service in 2004.

    Conoco and Samsung have completed an extensive conceptual design for a new tanker classification, the Gulf of Mexico Maximum Cargo (GOMAX(tm)) shuttle tanker. This double-hulled, dynamically positioned vessel will have a capacity of more than 550,000 barrels of crude oil and will still comply with the 40ft draft restrictions of most Gulf of Mexico ports.

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