Iraq, Shell sign natural gas deal

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq says it has signed a natural gas deal with Royal Dutch Shell that will establish a joint venture for energy development in southern Iraq.

The deal signed Monday by Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani and executives from the Anglo-Dutch company is the second between the government and a foreign energy company since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad says Shell and the state-run Iraqi South Oil Co. will invest in natural gas in the province of Basra.

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

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