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Shell quits Iraqi petrochemicals plant talks

(Reuters) - Oil major Shell has withdrawn from talks on building a petrochemicals plant in the southern oil hub of Basra, Iraq's oil ministry said on Tuesday.

Shell in a separate statement confirmed it was leaving the project.

A statement from Iraq's oil ministry said Shell would not continue discussions with the Ministry of Industry and Minerals and the Ministry of Oil regarding its role as "a major investor" in the Nebras Petrochemical Project, although it affirmed its continued support for the project through its partnership with Basra Gas Company.

In 2015, Shell signed an outline deal worth $11 billion with Iraq to build the petrochemical complex that would in theory come online within six years and would make Iraq the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East.

An Iraqi energy official with knowledge of the project talks said financial and contractual issues delayed reaching a final deal with Shell and "caused the initial deal to collapse".


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