The agreement will see the rejuvenation and upgrade of the existing liquefied natural gas plant at Marsa Al-Brega and the exploration and development of five new locations in the heart of Libya’s major oil and gas producing Sirte Basin.

Shell will commit between $105 million to $405 million to upgrade the Marsa Al-Brega facility, while the Anglo/Dutch energy company will invest around $187 million in its exploration program.

The new alliance reflects the effects of the dramatic change in political attitudes towards Libya in the wake of its December 2003 declaration to end its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons program.

An agreement was first forged in March 2004 at the time of the historically significant visit to the country by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, which represented the willingness of the majority of the West to reconnect with Libya.

We are delighted to be back in Libya, said Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s executive director for Exploration and Production. Libya’s integrated gas industry has enormous potential, based on its large gas resources and favorable geographic location.