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Iraq Pens Deal With Pakistani Gas Exploration Firm

Authorities in Baghdad have signed a preliminary agreement with a Pakistani energy company to explore for natural gas in Iraq's east.

On July 15, officials at Iraq's Oil Ministry signed the deal, which awards Pakistan Petroleum the right to explore for gas across a 6,000-square-kilometer area in the country's Diyala Province.

The deal will now goe to the Iraqi cabinet for final approval.

Earlier this month, the Russian oil company Bashneft won a separate contract to explore for oil in Iraq's southern provinces of Muthanna and Najaf.

Two other Russian firms, LUKoil and Gazprom, have also been awarded exploration contracts in Iraq, which holds the world's fourth-largest oil reserves.

The new contracts are Iraq's latest attempt to capitalize on its vast energy sector after years of war and sanctions.

Based on reporting by AP and

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