Final month for Shell gas deal

A top Iraqi gas official said March meetings are a deadline for proposed joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi.
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)

KHOR AL-ZUBAIR, IRAQ - Two and a half years have passed since Iraqi and Royal Dutch Shell officials announced a joint venture company to capture the natural gas being burned away in Basra province. This month, if meetings don't produce a final agreement, the deal will be dropped.

"I think this month is the final meeting," said Ali Khudhier, director general of the South Gas Company. "Either it happens or not."

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