(Dow Jones Newswires), Oct. 13, 2011
Korea Gas Corp., or Kogas, Thursday clinched a final deal for the multibillion-dollar project to develop one of Iraq's largest gas fields, Akkas in western Iraq near the Syrian borders, the country's deputy oil minister said.
"Today we have signed the final contract with Kogas to develop Akkas gas field," Ahmad Al Shamma told reporters.
It has been almost a year since Kogas along with Kazakhstan's state gas company KazMunaiGas awarded the untapped field with estimated proven reserves of 5.6 trillion cubic feet.
Final signature of the deal was delayed due to disputes with provincial authorities in Anbar province, where the field is located that led to the withdrawal of KazMunaiGas from the project.
Officials, however, said that all disputes have been settled and deputy governor of Anbar and other officials were present at Thursday's signing ceremony.
KazMunaiGas withdrew from the project earlier this year. Kogas then doubled its stake in the Akkas venture to 75%, taking over KazMunaiGas's stake. Iraq's state-run North Oil Company holds the remaining 25%.
Kogas and the Iraqi ministry initialed the deal June 1, but had been awaiting the cabinet's approval.
Kogas will submit a field development plan within six months of the contract taking effect, subject to Iraq's approval, Yoo Jeong-don, the general manager of Kogas's Iraq project group, told Dow Jones Newswires late last month.
Kogas may start developing the field around August or September next year, after which the company may look for new partners to the project "if needed," Yoo said.
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