Centrica signs agreement to acquire equity interests in Trinidadian gas blocks, establishing first producing LNG position
Centrica plc, through its subsidiary Centrica Resources (Armada) Limited (CRAL), today announced it has signed an agreement with Suncor Energy (TSX: SU, NYSE: SU), under which Centrica will acquire Suncor’s Trinidad and Tobago portfolio of gas assets for US$380 million (£246 million) in cash. This acquisition provides Centrica with its first producing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) position and significant development opportunities for future, long-term LNG supplies.
This portfolio of gas assets comprises a 17.3 per cent stake in the North Coast Marine Area (NCMA-1) gas production area and equity interests in three blocks; Blocks 22, 1(a) and 1(b), for future development.
The NCMA-1 block currently supplies gas into the Atlantic LNG (ALNG) facility, and holds remaining working interests of 266 billion cubic feet (bcf) of proven and probable (2P) reserves attributable to Centrica’s 17.3 per cent stake. This will provide Centrica with 60-70 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas production in 2010. Gas produced from NCMA-1 has been contracted to a third party on a long-term basis until 2023, achieving international gas prices with any additional benefits from diversion being shared between the partners.
Gas development opportunities in Block 22 and Blocks 1(a) and 1(b) comprise a 90 per cent and 80 per cent operated interest respectively and contain significant contingent gas resources, with recoverable resources attributable to Centrica’s equity stakes estimated at 1.34 trillion cubic feet (tcf). Centrica will consider options for the development of these gas discoveries together with appropriate equity partnerships. Blocks 1(a) and 1(b) of just under 0.2 tcf are subject to pre-emption from existing field partners.
Sam Laidlaw, Centrica Chief Executive, said: “This is a significant move into one of the world’s most established LNG areas providing us with access to both gas producing and development blocks. Combined with last year’s acquisition of Venture Production, this agreement builds further on our upstream capability and marks a step change in our global gas position.”
Notes to Editors
1. Centrica plc is the parent company of British Gas which supplies gas, electricity and energy related services to 12 million households in the UK and 5 million customers in North America through its Direct Energy business.
2. Centrica has an existing position in Trinidad and Tobago through an equity interest in Block 2(ab).
3. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the largest exporters of LNG in the Atlantic Basin, currently accounting for around 60 per cent of all LNG imported to the US. It has also become a significant global provider with deliveries to Asia, Continental Europe and the UK.
4. Centrica took delivery of 15 LNG cargoes into the UK during 2009 and has contracted another seven cargoes for 2010, utilising Centrica’s import capacity at the Isle of Grain re-gasification facility.
5. Transaction completion is subject to Trinidad and Tobago Government approval.
6. Any future gas exports from development Blocks 22, 1(a) and 1(b) will require Trinidad and Tobago Government approval.
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