Iraq has inked a final deal with a Pakistani company to explore for natural gas in the country's east in the latest move by Baghdad to develop its vast natural resources after decades of war, U.N. sanctions and neglect.

In May, Iraq awarded Pakistan Petroleum the right to explore for gas in the 6,000-square-kilometer (3,730 mile) Block 8 which is shared by Diyala and Wasit provinces. The company will be paid $5.38 for each barrel of oil equivalent.

Monday's signing ceremony took place at the Oil Ministry in Baghdad. The contract is one of four Iraq awarded in the latest bidding round to search for oil and gas.

Iraq sits atop of 143.1 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 126.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.