British Gas owner Centrica has acquired new North Sea oil and gas assets and signed a deal to guarantee UK gas supplies for the next decade.
The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, sees the firm agree to buy a “focused package” of oil and gas assets in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, including the Kvitebjørn field, from Statoil Petroleum for £965m.
Centrica’s proven plus probable reserves will increase by 29% as a result of the deal, with 117m barrels of oil equivalent reserves being added to its capacity. The company’s daily production will also rise by 34,000 barrels.
In a separate deal, the firm has signed a £13 billion strategic agreement for Statoil ASA to supply 50 billion cubic metres of gas to the UK over the next ten years.
The transaction, which begins in 2015, will meet about 5% of the country’s gas demand and will be enough to supply 3.5m homes.
Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, says: “Our strategic relationship with Statoil links us to one of the world’s largest gas exporters and a natural partner to the UK.”
Centrica’s shares were trading slightly down after the announcement. Last week, the company said profits for 2011 will be “marginally lower” than expectations because of milder weather and the weak economy.
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