British utility firm Centrica has signed a £4.4bn ($7.1bn) deal with Qatargas to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) for four and a half years.

Centrica will import up to 3 million tonnes of LNG from the Gulf country, which is the equivalent of about 13 per cent of the UK’s total residential gas demand.

Last year, Qatar exported an estimated 13.3 billion cubic metres to the UK, making Britain by far its largest export market in Europe and fourth-largest globally after Japan, India and South Korea.