Centrica is believed to be willing to spend upwards of £1 billion to gain supply contracts, negotiating with Nigeria, Algeria, Trinidad and Malaysia in the hope of acquiring stakes of up to 50 per cent in production sites.
Forecasters predict that the UK will look overseas for half of its total gas needs by 2009, as supplies from the North Sea run out faster than expected.
Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw is expected to warn that gas prices will rise as a result of lowering supplies and the ensuing increase in production costs, at the company's results presentation this Thursday (August 2nd).
He will also be quizzed over whether the company has held with Russian energy giant Gazprom.
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