Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has reached an agreement to acquire interests in a package of non-operated gas and oil assets in Norway for £190m in cash.
The agreement with Marathon Oil will see Centrica acquire interests in the Heimdal area of the Norwegian North Sea, which includes producing fields, discoveries and exploration prospects.
Centrica will acquire a 23.8 per cent interest in the Heimdal field, a 46.9 per cent interest in Vale and a 20 per cent interest in Skirne/Byggve, all of which are producing fields. The company will also acquire interests in the Heimdal East and Peik discoveries that could be developed by 2012. Gas currently being produced from the fields is contracted until 2011 at prices linked to the UK market. After 2011, Centrica could deliver the gas to the UK or continental Europe.
Over the past two years Centrica has acquired interests in twelve exploration licences in the Norwegian sector and holds interests in over thirty producing, development or exploration stage assets in the UK sector.
‘This investment is in line with our strategy to reduce the group’s exposure to movements in gas prices through securing additional upstream assets,’ said Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica. ‘It also increases the level of gas reserves to supply our British Gas customers and gives us our first producing interests in Norway, building on our existing exploration position.’