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Iraq to finalize Shell gas deal next June

By SINAN SALAHEDDIN 05.06.09, 04:59 AM EDT


A senior Iraqi oil official says a deal with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to tap natural gas in southern Iraq is expected to be finalized by the government in June.

The agreement was tentatively signed last year with Iraq’s South Gas Co. taking 51 percent and Shell 49 percent.

Parliament’s oil and gas committee has criticized the deal, saying it would let the joint venture monopolize natural gas resources and influence prices.

The official spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information before the deal is finalized.

He said the deal will be submitted to the Cabinet for discussion. He couldn’t say when it would be signed.


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