Centrica restarts mothballed Morecambe Bay gas field

Centrica has restarted production at the South Morecambe gas field, two months after mothballing it in protest at tax rises.

Production restarted on Friday, but the company said this was not prompted by a decision by the government to relax tougher tax rules on offshore producers.

The Treasury raised tax rates to between 62pc and 80pc in the last Budget but today offered some cosolation by saying it would increase tax relief on losses from 6pc to 10pc,

Centrica said it had restarted production on South Morecambe Bay because market conditions had improved.

Two other gas fields in Morecambe Bay, which were temporarily shut down for maintenance at the same time, had already begun pumping gas again.