Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Iraq & Shell Sign Natural Gas Deal

BAGHDAD: Iraq and Royal Dutch Shell PLC signed a deal to establish a joint venture that will tap natural gas in southern Iraq, the government said Monday.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani and four executives from the Anglo-Dutch company signed the deal, Iraq's second with a foreign company since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

The joint venture with the state-run Iraqi South Oil Co. will invest in natural gas in the southern oil-rich province of Basra, Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said. Work will start early next month.

Iraq will hold 51 percent in the venture and Shell 49 percent.

Some of the extracted gas will cover domestic needs in power stations and factories, while the majority will be bought by Shell at market prices and exported, Jihad said.

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