(Corrects to make clear deal signed by consortium)
PARIS, May 31 (Reuters) - French oil services company Technip signed on Tuesday a deal worth $500 million with a consortium that includes Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) and Italy’s oil and gas major ENI to refurbish an offshore oil platform.
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the signing was 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 platform is for the Bahr Essalam oil field about 100 kilometres off Tripoli.
The NOC aims to restore oil production after a U.N.-backed unity government arrived in the capital in March with the hope of ending Libya’s prolonged political crisis, and bring together warring factions.
Oil production rose above 300,000 barrels per day in May, far from the 1.6 million bpd level achieved before Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011.
The deal was signed in the presence of NOC’s Chairman Mustafa Sanalla between the consortium Milletah Oil & Gas Co and Technip’s CEO Thierry Pilenko, who called it a “milestone” for the French firm. (Reporting by John Irish; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Ingrid Melander/Jeremy Gaunt)
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