Iraq’s Energy Commission announced on Monday that it has decided to postpone its meeting to discuss the Shell gas contract until next week, further delaying the long-overdue signing.
AKnews reports that the commission, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, announced last Wednesday that it would discuss the contract to develop and exploit the gas from Iraq’s southern oil fields on Monday.
The delay is so that the deal can be “completely studied” before recommendations are submitted to the cabinet.
On July 12 Iraq singed the initial contract with Shell to develop Basra’s gas fields after originally signalling intent back in 2008. It is now just awaiting approval from the cabinet.
The realization of the contract will see Shell exploit the gas from the giant oil fields in Basra. Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna can produce 1.05 billion cubic feet of gas per day, but only 450 million cubic feet is currently exploited per day, with the rest being flared off.