Iraq cabinet to review Shell gas deal
Baghdad, December 10, 2010
A multi-billion-dollar gas deal between Iraq and Royal Dutch Shell will be presented for ratification to the new cabinet once it has been formed, Iraq's Oil Minister said.
"We are still negotiating the contract," Hussain Al Shahristani said after a graduation ceremony for oil police.
The $12 billion deal, a venture between Iraq's South Gas Company, Shell and Japan's Mitsubishi, involves the capture of associated natural gas produced at fields near Basra, including Rumaila.
Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki is forming a new government expected to include all the main political factions. Al Maliki has said he would pick his cabinet by mid-December. He has until December 26 to form a government.
Al Shahristani said he expected an initial contract for Iraq's western Akkas gas field to be initialled soon.
A deal was won by South Korea's Kogas and Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas in October, but the signing, scheduled for November 14, was postponed. Officials said the delay was to give the firms more time to look over the contract.