Centrica invests in 60 bcf gas storage facility

British utility Centrica will develop the UK's second largest gas storage facility through the acquisition of a controlling interest in the Baird gas field project in the southern North Sea.

Centrica has bought a 70% interest in the project from UK-based oil & gas exploration company Perenco for an initial payment of £25 million ($36 million). Perenco will retain the remaining 30% stake in the project. Total potential investment in the project will total around £1.2 billion ($1.7 billion) and will start operation in 2013.

Sam Laidlaw, Centrica chief executive says the project will provide crucial new capacity for the UK gas market. "The impact on gas supplies across Europe following

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