Centrica plc, through its subsidiary Hydrocarbon Resources Limited, has reached agreement with Burlington Resources (Irish Sea) Ltd. (BRIS) to transport and process natural gas for them from the East Irish Sea.
The Centrica group owns the North and South Morecambe gas fields through HRL.
The statement of intent relates to gas from the Millom and Dalton Fields acquired by BR from BG Exploration and Production Limited in December 1997 with fast track development as a major objective.
Subject to approval by the UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, development of the Dalton Field will begin early next year with initial gas production targeted for the fourth quarter of 1999.
Development of the Millom Field will commence in late 1999 with initial production planned by year end 2000.
Jake Ulrich, Managing Director of Centrica's energy management group, said: "We hope this will be a first step in more substantial business development opportunities between Centrica and Burlington."
BRIS and HRL have agreed to enter into further discussions concerning additional field development and business opportunities in the area. BR is evaluating exploitation options for its remaining East Irish Sea fields.