In a move aimed at closing the $12.5bn agreement for the capture of flared gas at Iraq's southern oilfields, Royal Dutch Shell and the national government have agreed to let the country's State Oil Marketing Organization handle gas exports. The expected benefits for the institutions involved in the venture should boost confidence in flared gas operations across the Middle East and North Africa.
Each day, thousands of barrels of crude oil and refined products cross the border into Iran from Iraq, primarily from the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. The proceeds from this trade are vital to the post-Saddam reconstruction of Kurdistan, and are equally as important for Iran, where the refining industry is struggling to produce enough fuel to meet the country's rapidly growing demand.
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