June 7 British utility Centrica is in
talks to buy a stake in the Bowland Shale licences owned by
Cuadrilla Resources in Lancashire, England, a source familiar
with the situation confirmed to Reuters.
Centrica and the shale gas-driller Cuadrilla declined to
comment on the talks, which were first reported by the Financial
Times on Friday.
Cuadrilla's part owner, Australian company AJ Lucas Group
, said in January that it was in talks with energy
investors to sell a stake in the shale gas explorer, amid media
speculation that Centrica was a key contender in the
The company has reported its Bowland Shale licences could
contain as much as 200 trillion cubic feet of gas.
British Gas owner Centrica, along with the rest of the
country, is trying to diversify its gas portfolio and in March
was one of the first companies globally to sign a U.S. LNG
Britain, which has been looking at huge shale gas reserves
to help cut its reliance on expensive gas imports and to
contribute to state coffers, introduced generous tax breaks for
shale gas in March.