Page last updated at 08:49 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 09:49 UK

SSE buys gas interests for 278m

Gas ring
The acquisition will provide SSE with around 8% of the gas it needs to supply customers

Perth-based Scottish and Southern Energy has agreed to buy gas assets from the American firm Hess for £278m.

The company said the acquired assets would provide around 8% of the amount it needed daily to supply its customers and power stations.

SSE said there was the possibility of finding more gas through further exploration.

The acquisition is part of a trend for energy providers to gain more control of the wholesale gas market.

Last year Centrica, which owns British Gas and Scottish Gas, won its battle to buy Aberdeen-based oil and gas firm Venture Production.

The deal will include Hess' 18% stake in a BP-operated gas pipeline running from the central North Sea to a processing terminal in Teesside.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: "These assets will provide a new source of primary fuel and a hedge for our gas generation and supply activities.

"The acquisition will also give us involvement throughout the gas chain - production, transmission, storage, distribution and supply."

Hess is a New York-based exploration company with interests throughout the world.

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