Centrica ups its North Sea oil field stake

CENTRICA yesterday moved to ramp up its North Sea gas reserves with a $223m (£140m) deal with ConcocoPhillips.

The British Gas owner is buying a 15.17 per cent stake in the Statfjord field, taking its share to 34.3 per cent.

Its investment includes $103m in historic tax allowances.

The Statfjord field is in the North Sea between Norway and Britain.

The company has been targeting oil and gas opportunities in recent months as it attempts to up its energy reserves.

Centrica said yesterday’s investment raises its reserves by 36m barrels of oil equivalent.

“This acquisition...underlines our commitment to invest in North Sea production and secure future energy supplies for the UK,” said managing director Mark Hanafin.

Last year, Centrica announced a ten-year gas deal and asset buy from Statoil as it moved to address declining UK output.