Slow going on Zubair, W. Qurna and Nassiriya deals

Three contracts with foreign oil firms including Exxon Mobil and Shell are slowly making their way through the Iraqi contracting process, which requires political approval.

BAGHDAD - Iraq's Council of Ministers this week delayed action on the major contracts for Zubair and West Qurna-Phase 1, development deals with Italy's Eni and American Exxon Mobil, respectively, which require government approval before the Oil Ministry can finalize.

The government has said there are technical and legal questions about the contracts, which require the companies and ministry to fix. Next week is the Eid al-Adha holiday and most government offices are expected to remain shut the entire week.

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