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Iraq has signed its first major oil deal with a foreign company since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime—a 20-year, $3 billion contract with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to develop fields in southern Wasit province. The deal marks the first time in more than 35 years that Iraq has allowed a foreign oil company to do business within its borders. Iraq's cabinet must still approve the contract, but Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said that would happen soon and work could commence within a few months.