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Iraq To Sign Deal With U.S. Company To Exploit Basra Gas Assets

The Nahr Bin Omar field in energy-rich Basra Province currently produces 40,000 barrels of oil a day. (file photo)

The Iraqi Oil Ministry says it is set to sign an agreement with U.S. energy company Orion to extract natural gas at an oil field in the south of the country.

The ministry said the deal, which was agreed to earlier this month, will be signed on January 22.

It pertains to the Nahr Bin Omar field in energy-rich Basra Province. It now produces 40,000 barrels of oil a day, but the Orion deal will look to exploit the site's gas assets as well.

Iraqi officials have been in talks with U.S. energy giant Exxon and Chinese companies over further developing oil production at the field.

Iraq is looking to rebuild its energy-production infrastructure after years of war.

On January 18, Iraq signed an agreement with British energy company BP to more than double output from oil fields in the northern Kirkuk Province that were retaken from Iraqi Kurds last year.

Iraqi forces retook several oil fields in Kirkuk after the Kurds voted for independence in September in a referendum opposed by Baghdad, its Western allies, Turkey, and Iran.

The oil fields, which produce about 140,000 barrels a day, were taken by the Kurds in 2014 amid the turmoil as the central government battled forces of the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, Natural Gas World, and Kurdistan24