LONDON -- Centrica has acquired a controlling interest from Perenco in a project to convert the Baird gas field in the southern North Sea into the UK's second largest gas storage facility.
Centrica has acquired a 70% interest in the project for an initial payment of £25 million ($35 million). Perenco will retain the remaining 30% stake in the project.
Centrica will manage the design and project development incurring further costs of around £12 million ($17 million) before a final investment decision is made. To take the project to completion Centrica's total potential investment in the project would be approximately £1.2 billion ($1.7 billion). It is anticipated that the project will begin commercial operations in 2013.
The proposed Baird storage facility would have capacity of approximately 60 bcf, just over half the 118-bcf capacity of Rough, the UK's largest gas storage facility. Pre-development studies on the project will run until 3Q 2010, before a final investment decision is made. If a decision is made to progress, Centrica would lead the development of the project, and on completion, operate the facility.