UPDATE 1-Noble signs agreement to import LNG at UK terminal

(Adds details, background)

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Noble Clean Fuels onTuesday became the latest energy company to expand its presencein Britain's growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) market as itsigned an agreement to import spare LNG at the country's SouthHook terminal.

Noble joins Total Gas & Power , ConocoPhillips, EGL , Chevron and Trafigura in securing access to spare importing slots atBritain's largest LNG terminal, which is owned by a jointventure between Qatar Petroleum International ,holding 70 percent, and ExxonMobil .

"This contract adds to Noble's portfolio of flexible assetsacross the shipping, supply, regasification and marketingelements of the LNG value chain in both the Atlantic and Pacificbasins," said Alejandro Sanchez Gestido, global head of LNG atNoble.

The agreements do not involve financial transactions butoffer an option for companies to use importing slots when theyare not used by the shareholders.

South Hook Gas is in talks with other parties interested insecuring spare LNG import capacity at its terminal, a spokesmansaid without detailing who the company was speaking with.

Britain is increasingly dependent on gas imports as itsdomestic supply is dwindling, while demand is projected to rise.

Recent expansions of Britain's LNG facilities mean thecountry is importing more and more of the super-cooled fuel fromits main exporter Qatar, a dependence which can leave itvulnerable to changes in the global LNG market.

Over the first seven months of this year, Qatar sent 96percent of Britain's total LNG imports, government data showed.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by James Jukwey)

((karolin.schaps@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(207 5426622)(Reuters Messaging:karolin.schaps.reuters.com@reuters.net))