Centrica set for Caribbean gas search

British Gas’s parent company, Centrica plc, today welcomed the announcement by the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Ministry, which has awarded the company participation in one licence as part of its bid in the Trinidad and Tobago Onshore and Shallow Water bid rounds.

Centrica, which is expanding its international search for new gas supplies, will have a 32.5 per cent interest in block 2AB, located in shallow water close to the Trinidad coast and existing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facilities. Trinidad is one of the largest exporters of LNG in the Atlantic Basin, currently accounting for around 80 per cent of LNG imported to the US.

With over 20 million customers on both sides of the Atlantic, through British Gas in the UK and Direct Energy in Canada and the US, Centrica is focusing on sourcing LNG from countries capable of delivering into Atlantic Basin markets, alongside its investments in long term gas contracts which have helped underpin new pipelines to the UK. LNG is expected to meet between 25-50 per cent of the UK’s gas supplies by 2020.

Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica, said: “Participation in Trinidad and Tobago provides us with access to one of the Atlantic Basin’s key LNG export areas and further broadens our approach to securing future energy supplies for our British Gas customers, as well as offering us a future supply option for our North American business.”

The Trinidad and Tobago licence award follows recent successful bids in the Norwegian licence round, where the company was awarded four licences in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, three as operator, and in the UK licensing round where it was awarded two operated licences close to its Morecambe gas fields in the East Irish Sea. Tullow Oil will partner with Centrica in Trinidad and Tobago, working as the operator of block 2AB.

Centrica is also currently evaluating licence blocks in Nigeria and Egypt, and holds regasification capacity at the UK Isle of Grain terminal from 2008 and the proposed Canvey LNG terminal.