UK utility Centrica has completed its $1.5bn agreement with Statoil Petroleum for the acquisition of oil and gas assets in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Centrica Energy managing director Mark Hanafin said the acquisitions marks an important step in the company’s strategy to grow its upstream business.

"As well as being one of the top three gas producers in the UK, we have one of the fastest growing companies in Norway, with around a third of our gas and oil production now coming from the region," said Hanafin.

The transaction adds 117 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) of 2P reserves to Centrica’s Norwegian portfolio and is expected to increase the company’s production by 34,000 barrels of oil a day.

Centrica has also completed its acquisition of ConocoPhillips‘ non-operated interests in the oil and gas producing Statfjord field and associated satellites.

The $223m transaction includes $103m attributable to historic tax allowances, taking Centrica’s equity in the Statfjord field to 34.3%, adding 36MMboe of 2P reserves.

The combined transactions increase reserves by nearly 40% and are expected to increase production by more than 30%.