Shell gets its gas deal

After years of negotiations, Shell inks a 25-year gas company joint venture with Iraq, making it the largest investor in the country's oil sector.
Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi (fourth from right), Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Vosser (fifth from right), and other ministry and company officials sign copies of the Basra Gas Company contract on Nov. 27, 2011 in Baghdad. (DANIEL W. SMITH/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Thirty-eight months after Royal Dutch Shell announced its pursuit of a massive gas deal in southern Iraq - following negotiations, controversy, and political outcry - the contract has been signed.

On Sunday afternoon, Iraqi officials and top executives from Shell and Mitsubishi finalized a deal monumental not only for the opposition it overcame but also for what it creates: an unprecedented joint venture that will stop environmentally disastrous flaring in Basra and give Shell the largest portfolio of any oil company in the country.

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