The search for an appropriate site
Between 1962 and 1966, exploratory surveys were undertaken, in Alsace, in Bresse, in the Valentinois area and in the Manosque region, on salt sites that would be capable of accommodating underground storage.
In september 1965, the Société Française des Pétroles BP and the Société Française Shell joined forces to create the Société de Stockage Géologique Geostock. They were then joined by the Compagnie Française de Raffinage (Total) and ELF Union.
On 28 September 1967, these very same shareholders created the Géosel Manosque company for the storage facility in Manosque and the Géopipe company for the creation and operation of pipelines.
The Manosque region attracted attention thanks to:
I. The presence of an 8-hectare salt deposit, at the location known as “Passaire”.
II. The proximity of the refineries and oil port of the Mediterranean area, in Berre (65 km away), La Mède (84 km) and Lavéra (95 km).
III. The signature of the agreement with the "Produits Chimiques du Midi" company allowing the use of the recently dried-up Lavalduc pond for disposal of the brine resulting from solution mining.