French company Technip inked a deal worth $500m with a consortium that includes Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) and Italy’s oil and gas major ENI to refurbish the offshore oil platform for the Bahr Essalam oil field about 100 kilometres off Tripoli, Reuters reported.

In words of the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, the signing is crucial to show that foreign firms were starting to return to do business in a country hit by over five years of conflict. “This is for the Libyans and gives them a chance to increase production, distribute resources and create jobs,” Ayrault said after a signing ceremony in Paris.

The NOC aims to restore oil production after a UN-backed unity government arrived in the capital in March with the hope of ending Libya’s prolonged political crisis, and bring together warring factions.

According to a statement from the oil service company cited by Libya Herald , the work is on phase II of the gas-gathering project operated by Mellitah Oil & Gas, the joint consortium between the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and ENI. The work which includes refurbishment of Mellitah’s Sabratha platform, situated some 110km off the Libyan coast in approximately 190 metres of water, will cover the design installation and commissioning of a gas gathering system and will include laying 34km of pipelines, subsea valves and other links. The work, to be carried out from Malta, is to be carried out between the second half of 2017 and the second half of 2018.