Iraq deals with Big Oil to be signed in March…

Plus: *Iraq and Europe courting each other for gas, oil support *Russia writes off 91 percent of Iraq's debt in move once reserved for W. Qurna rights *Iraq: The Alcohol Smugglers *Much more... Iraq’s Oil Ministry will continue meetings with Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron on Feb. 25, with deals to be signed in March, [...]

Iraq’s Oil Ministry will continue meetings with Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron on Feb. 25, with deals to be signed in March, reports Dow Jones Newswires’ Hassan Hafidh. Apparently more talks will take place with Vitol Hodling, Dome and an as-yet unnamed company. China will resume talks also for the southern Iraq field it held a deal for under Saddam Hussein. This is a great piece by Hafidh. Read it.

Russia will write-off $13 billion in debt owed by Iraq, The Associated Press reports. It had been a sticking point as Russian-giant Lukoil had pressed for a deal to develop the W. Qurna oil field. The Oil Ministry in Iraq had said a deal signed and then cancelled during the Saddam Hussein regime is old news, but Russia feels it still has legal ties to it.

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