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Centrica buys stakes in North Sea to secure gas supplies

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Centrica this week announced it had bought four gas fields in the North Sea as part of its commitment to secure supplies for its British Gas customers.

The company will pay Kerr McGee £318.6m to obtain its non-operated interests and this will also include rights to explore for more oil and gas in the area. The deal adds approximately 1.1 billion therms of gas and 11 million barrels of oil to Centrica’s portfolio.

This purchase comes less than two months since Centrica complained about the lack of acquisition opportunities, at which point the company suggested a re-purchase of a further £500m of its shares.

As well as the ability to produce gas and exploit high commodity prices, the deal also means Centrica will benefit through tariff income from its interest in the Sage pipeline, which transports energy from fields in the northern part of the North Sea. This will entitle the firm to 4% of revenues paid by oil firms producing in that region and transporting supplies to Scotland.

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