Centrica agrees on £4.4bn gas import contract with Qatar

Suzie Neuwirth
FTSE 100-listed energy firm Centrica, which owns British Gas, yesterday confirmed it has signed a £4.4bn deal with Qatar to supply the UK with liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Under the four-and-a-half year agreement, Qatargas will supply up to three million tonnes per year of LNG, which could provide enough gas to meet around 13 per cent of the UK’s annual residential gas demand, equating to around three million households.

The deal builds on Centrica’s existing agreement with Qatargas from February 2011, which is due to come to an end in June 2014.

The UK is increasingly dependent on energy imports, as North Sea oil and gas reserves decline, while concerns grow around the country’s energy security. The UK will be at its greatest risk of winter blackouts this year in half a decade, according to National Grid.

“It is vital that the UK has a diverse range of sources of supply to meet its energy requirements,” said Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw, who said he would forego his bonus if offered one this year, as the political row over rising energy bills rages on.