UK energy firm Centrica and Qatar Petroleum International have acquired natural gas assets in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin from Suncor Energy for $1bn.

The assets will be held in a new partnership between the companies, with Centrica taking a 60 per cent share and QPI the remaining 40 per cent.

The assets include proven and probable reserves estimated at 978 billion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas, with an estimated 2013 production of approximately 250 million cubic feet equivalent per day.

The gas fields are mainly located in south and central Alberta and the deal also includes the purchase of more than 1 million acres of undeveloped land.

Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said: “I am delighted to achieve our first investment with QPI and the establishment of a new partnership in North America. The acquisition provides attractive returns in a region we know well, and significantly increases the size and quality of our portfolio. It also presents exciting development opportunities, with the potential to improve returns further.”