BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq has signed a preliminary deal with a Pakistani company to explore for natural gas in the country's east.
In May, Iraq awarded Pakistan Petroleum the right to explore for gas in the 6,000-square-kilometer (3,730 mile) Block 8 in Diyala province. The company will be paid $5.38 for each barrel of oil equivalent.
Sunday's signing took place at the Oil Ministry in Baghdad. The contract will be sent to the Cabinet for final approval.
The contract is one of four Iraq awarded in the latest bidding round to search for oil and gas. Others will be signed this month.
The move is Iraq's latest to develop its vast natural resources after decades of war, U.N. sanctions and neglect.