Centrica to ‘exit Spirit Energy by end of 2020’

Centrica has announced its plans to dispose of its interests in North Sea explorer Spirit Energy by the end of 2020.

The firm, the largest supplier of domestic gas in the UK, has a 69% stake in Spirit , which is a combination of its exploration arm and the former Norwegian company Bayerngas Norge.

Centrica has previously alluded to its intent to sell off its interest in the firm.

In its half-year results, Centrica said the move is part of its plans to a lower energy mix.

Proceeds from the sale would be used to reduce net debt.

Spirit Energy has around 350 employees in Aberdeen.

Centrica said: “We expect to exit our interest in Spirit Energy by the end of 2020, in addition to our already announced intention to dispose of our interest in Nuclear power generation. We expect to exit Spirit Energy via a trade sale.

“Spirit Energy is a robust, self-financing entity in a range of price environments. However, E&P is not strategically core for Centrica and our intended exit from Spirit Energy is aligned with the global transition to a lower carbon energy mix.”

Meanwhile, CEO Iain Conn will step down from his position next year, the company has said.

Adjusted operating profits for the first six months of 2019 were £399m, down 49% compared to 2018 t £782m.

The Exploration and Production side of the business saw adjusted operating profit drop 42% to £148m.

Centrica said this is due to lower gas sale prices, lower volumes from the Rough field and dry hole costs from the unsuccessful drilling at the first well at the Greater Warwick Area in the West of Shetland.

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