The UK’s BP is preparing to resume operations in Libya after suspending exploration activities amid the conflict in 2011, according to a statement on the state-owned National Oil Company’s website.

BP signed a major exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) in 2007, but its exploration work at the offshore Sirt basin and onshore Ghadames basin were interrupted before the start of drilling operations.

“The lifting of force majeure is a significant milestone in BP’s plans to return to the exploration of onshore and offshore blocks in our existing EPSA contract,” says Michael Daly. BP’s executive vice-president for exploration.

BP’s EPSA contract includes the commitment to five wells offshore and 12 wells onshore.

The announcement came just days after Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell said it had abandoned oil exploration in the North African country, saying results had been disappointing.