Centrica acquires Alberta based gas producer

Centrica today announced that its North American business unit Direct Energy has agreed to acquire Canadian natural gas producer Quintana Minerals Canada Investments Corp. for C$51.5 million (£21.1 million) in cash. The transaction is expected to complete by 31 May.

The purchase of the Calgary based business follows Centrica's announcement on 26 April that it will complete the acquisition of the retail gas and electricity business of the ATCO group in Alberta on 4 May, 2004, adding approximately one million customers.

Quintana has a natural gas portfolio in north central and east central Alberta, with proven reserves of 16.2 bcf and proven plus probable reserves of 19.4 bcf. Quintana's current net production will increase Direct Energy's existing production by 11 per cent.

Centrica Chief Executive Sir Roy Gardner said: "Our strategic purchase of Quintana will give us greater supply control and flexibility to meet our North American customer demand, currently maintaining our ability to supply around 20 per cent of our retail gas needs from our own production."