Iraqi Cabinet approves China oil deal

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq has approved a $3 billion deal with China to develop the al-Ahdab oil field.

It's the first Saddam-era oil deal to be honored by the new Iraqi government. It initially was canceled after the 2003 invasion.

A government statement says the Cabinet approved the deal on Tuesday. It was signed last week in China.

Under the contract, China National Petroleum Corp. will develop the field for 20 years. It's expected to produce up to 25,000 barrels a day after three years, and eventually reach 125,000 bpd.

The field is in Wasit province, about 99 miles southeast of Baghdad.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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