High oil prices and LNG boost BG Group profit

BG Group, the UK’s third largest oil and gas explorer, reported better-than-expected profits yesterday, boosted by a strong performance from its liquified natural gas business (LNG) and high energy prices, despite problems at its North Sea oil fields.

Shares in the group closed 3.84 per cent higher yesterday after it posted a four per cent rise in earnings to $1.02bn for the three months to 30 September compared with the same quarter last year, beating market estimates of around $971m.

Net profit rose 21 per cent to $1.06bn from the same period last year, helped by “favourable market conditions” for its LNG arm, which transports gas by ship across the world. BG chief executive Frank Chapman raised profit guidance for the LNG division, which accounts for over a quarter of its total operating profit, to $2.4bn this year, up from a previous forecast of between $1.9bn and $2.2bn.

The FTSE 100 firm’s positive outlook came despite a slowdown in production, which grew by just one per cent in the quarter, after the group’s North Sea fields were shut down for maintenance.

BG said it is making “material progress” in its growth projects off the coast of Brazil and in Australia.