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Hungary calls bid for building natural gas storage July 20

The Hungarian Association of Hydrocarbon Stockpiling, an organization set up by oil and gas importers and supervised by the government, is seeking offers from energy companies to provide expired gas fields that could be used as storage units, József Csernák, head of the association, said by telephone yesterday. The association has set up a company to manage the bid and it will start talks with selected companies once the offer period closes Aug. 3, he added. The company is expected to call bids later to build the gas storage facility and fill it with gas, he added. Hungary, which uses more gas per capita than any other European Union country except for the Netherlands, plans to add more gas storage to cope with future shortages of the fuel. It was one of the countries where Russian gas supplies were cut by 20% to 25% from mid-January to early February because of a cold snap in Russia. Hungary's storage facility is scheduled to start operation by 2010 and would store about 1.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas. E.ON AG of Germany, Hungary's Mol Nyrt and Russia's OAO Gazprom are interested in the Ft 150 billion ($677 million) project, an Economy Ministry spokesman said Feb. 15. (Bloomberg)