State-owned South Oil Company (SOC) has issued another retender for a deal to build a natural gas pipeline from the Zubair storage depot to the Al-Fao storage depot in the south of Iraq.

This is the sixth retender for the estimated $150m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) project, according to sources close to the scheme.

A new set of commercial proposals are due on 22 July. Technical proposals for the 18-inch, 105 kilometre pipeline were submitted in early-May from at least seven firms, including Italy’s Saipem, Dubai-based Dodsal

More than twenty local and international firms had previously submitted bids. When the pipeline scheme was first launched in February 2011, bids ranged from $65m to $230m, leading to the several retenders. According to bidding contractors, the lowest priced bids came from local Iraqi EPC firms.

The carbon steel gas pipeline is to carry up to 100 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas from a depot at the Zubair field near Basra to the Al-Fao depot. Construction is expected to take 10 months.