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Iraq extends gas MOU with Shell- oil minister

BAGHDAD, March 7 (Reuters) - Iraq has extended a memorandum of understanding with Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L on a natural gas venture around the southern oil hub of Basra for six months from March 2010, Iraq's Oil Minister told Reuters on Sunday.

“We will resume talks with Shell after the election,” the minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, said after he cast his vote in the country’s second full parliamentary election since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. “The Shell contract is in its final form after Shell accepted our remarks and demands.”

Iraq has been working to finalize the venture between its South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi 8058.T. The deal would capture huge amounts of gas currently wasted by being flared at oilfields and use it for the domestic market or exports. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Rania El Gamal)

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