Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil company, plans to jointly invest $28 billion with Libya to expand crude and natural-gas production in the North African country.

The 10-year spending program will be evenly split between Eni and Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. Rome-based Eni said it also agreed to extend existing supply contracts to receive oil from Libya through 2042 and natural gas through 2047.

Libya, site of Africa’s largest oil reserves, is seeking contracts with foreign companies to develop untapped fields as rising energy prices make it profitable to explore for new sources. The nation is becoming more attractive for investment after the US lifted economic sanctions in 2004.

Eni plans to double capacity at the Mellitah gas-export hub to 16 billion cubic meters a year to help ship the fuel to markets worldwide, it said. The company will increase pipeline capacity by 3 billion cubic meters and build a new gas-liquefaction plant.

“Being able to consolidate our position, for many years to come, in an environment that is again becoming competitive is very important to us,” Eni Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni told reporters in Tripoli.