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Iraq talks with Shell prolonged, continue-official

BAGHDAD, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Talks between Iraq and Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L on a natural gas deal near the southern oil hub of Basra are taking longer than expected but still ongoing, a senior Iraqi oil official said on Friday.

“The heads of agreement will be extended and the project will be presented to the next government,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Iraqi government has been working to finalize the joint venture between its South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi 8058.T. The deal would capture huge amounts of gas for domestic use or export, which is currently wasted by being flared at the oil fields. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Sue Thomas)

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