Basra leaders threaten lawsuit

Days before Shell and Iraq are to formalize a new gas company, Basra's local government has voted to file a lawsuit challenging the deal.
Iraqi South Oil Company engineers look toward the associated gas flares in the Zubair oil field on January 21, 2010. (ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

BASRA - The Basra Provincial Council on Tuesday voted to file a lawsuit challenging the imminent, multi-billion-dollar joint venture between the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi.

Officials said they wanted more local involvement in the contracting process, particularly in determining compensation policies – one of several key demands that delayed the deal's approval for more than three years, following a Sept. 22, 2008, signing of a Heads of Agreement in Baghdad.

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