Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS-A , quote ) just signed a $17 billion deal to develop natural gas fields in Iraq along with Mitsubishi Corp. from Japan.
According to an article in USA Today , "Iraq signs $17 billion deal with Shell, Mitsubishi," the gas will be used mainly for domestic energy needs. Some will be available for export, however.
Iraq oil minister Abdul-Karim Elaibi called the agreement a "historic turn in Iraq's oil industry." Despite massive deposits of oil and natural gas, Iraq still suffers from chronic energy outages. This deal with Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) and Mitsubishi will supply internal needs in Iraq, allowing for more expensive petroleum to be exported.
With operations spanning the globe, from Nigeria to the Arctic, RDS has experience in difficult environments, whether due to climate or politics.
This is another major deal in energy, particularly in natural gas. As reported in recent articles in both the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal , the United States is greatly reducing its consumption of imported fuel due to increasing usage of natural gas for its energy need, from 60% to 47%.
Eni SPA ( E , quote ) of Italy just announced a major find off the cost of Madagascar.