Vinsons, Cleary Advising Iraq on $17bn Gas Deal
Posted on 15 December 2011

Vinson & Elkins and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are advising Iraq’s oil ministry in a $17.2 billion deal with Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi to develop the infrastructure required to process natural gas in the southern part of Iraq.
The transaction agreements, which were signed on 27th November, came as Iraq attempts to rebuild its oil and gas industry following years of sanctions and conflict.
The 25-year contract, one of the biggest deals that Iraq has signed in recent times, will see the creation of a new company, the Basra Gas Company (BGC).
The BGC will process gas from three large fields near Basrah in Southern Iraq in order to satisfy domestic consumption requirements, and will also have the right to pursue a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or other gas export project for any remaining gas.
The Vinsons team includes partners Christopher Strong and Ahmed el-Gaili, while the Cleary Gottlieb team includes partners Andrew Bernstein and Gamal Abouali. “We are thrilled to be working with the Ministry on such an innovative and large-scale project,” said Ayman Khaleq, Middle East managing partner at Vinson & Elkins, in a statement.
“The signing… was a key milestone for this deal, which is significant to the overall gas industry in Iraq, and it’s a privilege to be a part of that.”