France's Sofregazis poised to sign the estimated $50 million contract to set up a gas storage facility near the city of Qom. It is understood that company officials are preparing to travel to Iran to sign the agreement by mid February. Sofregaz has been in talks about the project with the Oil Ministry's Underground Gas Storage Projects Directorate since last June (MEED 27:7:01).
The project entails the conversion of an aquifer in Yort-e Shah into a gas storage facility. It is part of a wider scheme to set up large underground gas storage facilities throughout the north of the country to avoid supply shortages in Tehran and Qom during the winter.
Three other companies, including Germany's KBB, bid for the project last year.
Sofregaz has won two contracts in Iran since 1999. In June 1999, the National Iranian Oil Companyselected it to carry out the conversion of the condensate gas field of Sarajeh, near Qom, into an underground storage zone. Six months later, the French firm won a contract to design and build two compressor stations to increase the transmission capacity on the second gas trunkline (IGAT 2 - MEED 10:12:99).
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