BG Group first-quarter profit doubles

LNG and E&P revenues surge.

The company's ship , Photograph: Getty Images.

The British multinational oil and gas company BG Group has posted a profit  of $1.22bn for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $597m for the same period last year.

Group revenue and other operating income increased by 20 per cent to $5.78bn. Cash generated by operations grew by 47 per cent to $2.66bn, primarily as a result of higher profits and a lower working capital cash outflow.
 
Revenue from exploration and production (E&P) increased by 15 per cent to $1.45bn , while revenue from liquefied natural gas (LNG) grew by 42 per cent to $812m.
 
Net finance costs decreased by 48 per cent to $41m. 
 
Frank Chapman, chief executive of BG Group, said: "Our exploration and production business delivered a 5 per cent increase in volumes and total operating profit for our LNG business was up 42 per cent to $812m, boosted by continuing strong demand from Asian markets."
 
Revenue and other operating income of transmission and distribution (T&D) division increased by 15 per cent to $903m (2011: $785). T&D total operating profit decreased by 19 per cent to $118m.
 
The Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) project progressed well as some $1.1bn investment during the first-quarter in the parallel projects of upstream development of gas and water treatment facilities, the 540 kilometre pipeline network, and the first phase two-train LNG plant.
 
Chapman added: "In Australia, we have increased drilling capacity as planned and delivered over 70 wells in the quarter; 31 in the month of March. Significant upstream contract awards for facilities and infrastructure are progressing. At the LNG plant on Curtis Island, dredging continues to progress to schedule; construction of the two LNG storage tanks is ongoing; and the first of 47 modules from Thailand is due for delivery in the second half of 2012. Despite cost pressures, the project remains firmly on track for first LNG in 2014."
 
"BG Group has delivered significantly stronger financial results in the first quarter and with new production coming onstream, further progress on our major projects, and continued exploration success, we remain firmly on track to achieve our long-term objectives," concluded Chapman.
 
In addition, the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Cosan for the sale of its 60.1 per cent holding in Comgás, Brazil’s largest gas distribution company, for approximately $1.8bn.