DOHA: ritish Gas owner Centrica has extended its multi-billion pound contract to buy gas from Qatar until 2023, as it eyes fresh imports to the UK to replace dwindling North Sea supplies.
The new deal, understood to be worth up to £2bn, will see the energy giant buy up to 2m tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) each year from January 2019, after its existing contract expires. “With the decline in North Sea production and the recent growth in global LNG supply, the UK is increasingly becoming an attractive destination for LNG,” Centrica said. The energy giant first struck a three-year deal to buy LNG from Qatargas in 2011, before extending it with its current deal, which runs to December 2018.
There is no obligation for the company to bring any of the LNG to the UK – it could, for example, sell it to other countries in Europe. However Centrica has imported 40 cargoes to the country over the past five years.
Were all the gas to come to the UK, it could supply the needs of about 2m homes, Centrica said.