British energy firm Centrica has signed a deal to supply British homes with Qatari liquefied natural gas in a tie-up worth £4.4 billion and lasting until 2018, the group said.
Centrica said the deal, worth the equivalent of $7.1 billion or 5.2 billion euros, builds on its existing LNG agreement with Qatargas signed in 2011 and which had been due to end in mid-2014.
"Centrica plc, the parent company of British Gas, today announced it has entered into a 4.5 year LNG supply agreement with Qatargas for the purchase of up to three million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas," the statement said.
It added: "The £4.4 billion deal builds on Centrica's existing agreement with Qatargas, signed in February 2011, and could provide gas to meet approximately 13 percent of UK annual residential gas demand, enough to meet the needs of around three million households.
"The previous contract Centrica signed with Qatargas comes to an end in June 2014. With increasing global competition from emerging economies for LNG, and declining North Sea production, this transaction secures important gas supplies for Centrica and the UK to December 2018," the statement said.
Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said it was "vital that the UK has a diverse range of sources of supply to meet its energy requirements".
Energy Minister Michael Fallon said in the statement: "Long term deals of this kind with reliable suppliers like Qatar are vital for our future energy security."
Middle East Online