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Monday, October 12, 1998 Published at 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK

Business: The Company File

Centrica buys PowerGen North Sea

PowerGen's North Sea fields will pass to Centrica

Gas producer Centrica, better known as British Gas, has announced the 248m ($400m) purchase of PowerGen's North Sea oil and gas business.

PowerGen North Sea has interests in eight fields in both the North and Irish Seas, producing 86% gas and 14% oil overall.

Centrica chief executive Roy Gardner said the acquisition would help the company lift its primary production assets, a strategy previously declared.

"These assets represent an extremely good fit with our current gas supply portfolio and future requirements for the competitive energy market beyond 2001," he said.

The 1998 forecasts for the businesses predict gas production of 70m cubic feet per day and oil output of 6,000 barrels a day.

[ image: Centrica may get access to European gas market]
Centrica may get access to European gas market
There are several undeveloped gas fields also owned by North Sea. The undeveloped Chiswick field could help Centrica gain access to European markets because of its proximity to Holland.

In a statement, PowerGen said the sale was conditional on the confirmation of certain issues by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Peter Mandelson.

PowerGen expected the deal to be completed next month after putting North Sea up for tender back in May.

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