Iraq Initials Deal On Prized Oil Field

BAGHDAD -- Iraq has initialed a deal with a consortium led by European giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Malaysia's state-run Petronas to develop one of Iraq's most prized oil fields.

Iraqi officials initialed the deal Sunday during a signing ceremony at Iraq's Oil Ministry in Baghdad.

The contract still must be approved by Iraq's Cabinet.

The two companies won the right earlier this month to develop the 12.5 billion barrel southern Majnoon field.

Shell-Petronas plan to raise production at Majnoon from the current 45,900 barrels per day to 1.8 million barrels per day over 10 years.

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