The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Somalia has reached an agreement with Shell and ExxonMobil that the East African nation hopes could see the supermajors return to offshore exploration in its waters.

Through their joint venture, the companies entered five offshore blocks in Somalia before the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the early 1990s, after which the country’s plans for oil development were halted by years of civil war.

The new agreement settles issues relating to surface rentals and other incurred obligations on offshore blocks that were previously under force majeure during the civil war, according to the government statement.