Centrica secures rig for North Sea development programme

Centrica plc, the parent company of British Gas, today announced it has secured a drilling rig for a multi-well work programme on its Southern North Sea assets acquired as part of the Newfield acquisition in 2007.

Transocean's Galaxy II rig will commence a programme to drill three wells on Centrica's Grove gas field in the Southern North Sea later this year.  Drilling is expected to start in the third quarter, with completion in spring 2009.

The rig will be used as part of a programme to further enhance production on the Grove field.  Since the acquisition of Newfield UK, Centrica has seen higher than expected production from the Grove field, which exports gas to Den Helder in the Netherlands.  The addition of new wells and offshore compression facilities are expected to further increase production rates.

Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica, said: "This drilling programme will build on our acquisition of Newfield last year and delivers on our plan to maximise the value of the Grove field ready for next winter and the following winter.

"As a result of this work programme and further development in 2009 and 2010, we expect to have developed additional reserves from these assets in line with the plan we set out last year."