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Thursday, July 14, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Deal could make Iraq a net exporter of gas

BAGHDAD — Iraq has signed an energy deal worth $12 billion with a Western major.


The Iraqi Oil Ministry has signed an accord with Royal Dutch Shell for a project to capture natural gas flared in crude oil fields in the south. Under the deal, valued at $12 billion, Iraq could end up becoming a net exporter of liquid petroleum gas.

"Execution of the deal will open the competition door for Iraq to export to the international market," Iraq's state-owned South Gas Co. director Ali Al Khudhier said.

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Shell chairman Hans Nijkamp said the project could allow Iraq to export gas within a year of execution. Iraq has been producing 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day, half of which was flared in absence of an infrastructure to capture the energy.

Baghdad has set a goal to produce 2.5 billion cubic feet per day.

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