Centrica (LON:CNA) has moved to combine its European oil and gas exploration and production operations with Bayerngas Norge, the London-listed company has said. The move comes as the British Gas owner looks to slim down its E&P operations and focus on its energy supply and services business.
Centrica’s share price has been little changed in London in today’s session, having added 0.05 percent to 206.40p as of 14:21 BST, slightly underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.32 percent higher at 7,401.85 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 12 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a near 11-percent rise in the Footsie.
Centrica announced in a statement today that it had reached an agreement to combine its European oil and gas E&P business with Bayerngas Norge to form a newly incorporated joint venture. The new venture will have two shareholding entities, with Centrica to hold 69 percent. The deal is expected to close in the last quarter of the year, subject to competition and regulatory approvals and other conditions.
“As part of our strategy of 2015, we have been aiming to develop a more focused and stronger E&P business which will contribute to the resilience of the Group while limiting Centrica’s E&P participation,” Centrica’s chief executive Iain Conn explained in the statement.
Today’s news comes after the British Gas owner recently inked a deal to offload two gas-fired powered stations. The group has further agreed to sell its stake in its Canadian E&P venture, and recently wrapped up the disposal of its gas assets in Trinidad and Tobago.
Centrica is scheduled to update investors on its interim performance on August 1.