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Shell agrees landmark $4 bln gas deal with Iraq: report

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to a joint venture deal worth up to $4 billion to capture gas in Iraq, the Financial Times said Tuesday.

The deal, which will see the gas being sold in Iraq and abroad, will be signed next month, the FT said, citing Iraqi oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad. Shell will meanwhile become the first western oil group to sign a deal with the Iraq government since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, said the business daily. “Europe is looking for supplies of gas from Iraq,” Jihad told media.

“Security used to be a deterrent but now companies feel that security has improved and this will encourage others to come in,” he added. According to Jihad, the project will be run as a joint venture, with Shell taking a 49% stake and the Iraqi oil ministry 51%, the report said. Shell told the FT: “We are delighted with the government’s decision and look forward to signing the agreement in the near future.” (The Economic Times)