LONDON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A 10-year natural gas deal signed by Norwegian energy company Statoil and Centrica is "good news" for British consumers, the energy secretary said.
Centrica, parent company of British Gas, announced it signed a strategic agreement with Statoil for the supply of 17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas for British consumers.
British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, in a statement, said the 10-year deal was a milestone for British energy security.
"This is good news for Britain. Today gas powers almost half of our electricity, and nearly 70 percent of our heating," he said. "It is reliable, flexible and competitive and helps power our economy."
The 10-year deal begins in 2015. The natural gas outlined in the deal would meet about five percent of the country's annual energy demand, or enough for about 3.5 million homes.
British consumers get about half of their natural gas from imports.
"This agreement will help to deliver that gas securely and cheaply, and further enhance our close relationship with Norway," said Hendry.
Centrica in a separate transaction with Statoil acquired oil and gas assets in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea that have an estimated 117 million barrels of oil equivalent.