Shell signs $11 billion deal to build petrochemicals plant in Iraq:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) signed a deal with Iraq on Wednesday worth $11 billion to build a petrochemicals plant in the southern oil hub of Basra, boosting the country's aim to become a major regional energy player and diversify its income.
Industry Minister Nasser al-Esawi told a news conference the Nibras complex, which is expected to come online within five to six years, would make his country the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East.
Iraq, which relies on oil for more than 90 percent of its revenue, has been hit hard by the steep fall in global oil prices since June, with Brent crude now hovering around $50 a barrel.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said last week he feared lower revenues from oil could hurt Iraq's military campaign against the Islamic State militants who swept across northern Iraq last summer, prompting U.S.-led airstrikes.
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