Iraq has agreed to set up a joint venture with oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell to invest in developing the country’s natural gas supply.
The deal, which will see Shell supply the local market, is the second between the government and a foreign firm since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
It was signed by Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani.
Iraq has enormous potential as an oil and gas supplier but has so far lacked the investment for it to be realised.
Under the terms of the deal, signed on Monday, Iraq will have 51% in the venture and Shell 49%.
The country will invest in natural gas in the oil-rich southern province of Basra.