Leaked U.S. Embassy cables and candid interviews reveal the story behind Shell's quest to export Iraqi natural gas.

The secret history of the Shell gas deal

The secret history of the Shell gas deal
Iraqi Southern Oil Company engineers look towards the natural gas flares in the Zubair oil field in southern Iraq on January 21, 2010. (ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Eight months after Iraq committed exclusively to Shell for a controversial multi-billion-dollar natural gas venture, the company's top deal-maker had a frank discussion with American diplomats. Mounir Bouaziz told them that, in his assessment, the Iraqis didn't have the capacity to sit at the negotiating table."Bouaziz wryly remarked that Iraqis are still novices with regard to international business deals, but are learning how to deal with international oil companies such as his own," U.S. ...

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