Osborne backs Centrica's shale acquisition

Centrica has announced the acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the Bowland exploration license in Lancashire from Cuadrilla and AJ Lucas for £40m (release).

Mark Hanafin, managing director of Centrica’s International Upstream business, said:

With North Sea gas reserves declining and the UK becoming more dependent on imported gas supplies, it is important that we look for opportunities to develop domestic gas resources, to provide affordable sources of gas to our customers, and to deliver broader economic benefits to the UK.

The Government’s clear commitment to developing the UK’s shale gas industry is creating the right environment for companies to invest and to deliver those benefits.

This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for Centrica to explore the potential and commercial viability of natural gas from shale in the UK, while utilising its expertise as a responsible operator and developer of UK gas resources.

Now chancellor George Osborne has Tweeted in favour of the deal: