By Max Clarke

Centrica, the gas extraction giant and British Gas parent company, has gone ahead with its threats to cease extraction at one of its North Eastern gas fields.

The decision follows Chancellor Osborne’s ‘smash and grab’ tax hike on petroleum extraction announced in the March 2011 budget.

Centrica, along with industry group, Oil and Gas UK, had warned about the devastating effects that such a hike would incur, claiming that the 30% increase would make many UK gas fields unprofitable.

Commentators from the Guardian have noted that Centrica’s decision to close the Morecombe Bay site are more of a political gesture than a practical response to the changing profitability of their UK fields.