British utility Centrica to buy Total's North Sea assets for $388 million

British utility Centrica Plc yesterday struck a deal to buy a portfolio of UK North Sea oil and gas assets from France's Total for £246 million ($388 million).

The acquisition will give the owner of British Gas, seven producing fields in the areas of Greater Armada, the Alba field and the Mungo and Monan cluster, which has estimated reserves of 22 million of barrels of oil equivalent - 36 per cent gas and 64 per cent oil, and will increase London-based Centrica's reserves by around 5 per cent.

It also helps to maintain "the mix of oil in its upstream portfolio," with oil comprising almost two-thirds of the new assets, the company said in a statement.

"This acquisition in the North Sea provides a good fit with our existing portfolio and strategy, bringing strong cash flow and adding value for Centrica," said managing director Mark Hanafin.

This is Centrica's third deal in the North Sea in four months.

The latest acquisition comes after Centrica,  the UK's largest energy supplier with about 16 million customers, doubled its stake to 34.3 per cent in the Statfjord field for $223 million, acquired eight oil and gas developments on the Norwegian continental shelf from Norway's Statoil for £1 billion.