Liquified gas arm boosts BG’s profits

GAS company BG yesterday announced total revenues of $4.45bn (£2.78bn) for the third quarter of 2010, an increase of 23 per cent on the figure for the same period in 2009. Total operating profit increased by 21 per cent to $1.67bn.

Exploration and production made the FTSE 100 company profits of $761m, while the operating profit for the business’s liquified natural gas arm was up 43 per cent to $725m.

The group’s chief executive Frank Chapman said: “Alongside a set of good quarterly results, we have made significant progress in the delivery of our growth plans.”

Over the third quarter the company increased the estimate of the resources at the Tupi, Iracema, and Guará fields in the Santos Basin of Brazil. It now calculates that the fields contain 10.8bn barrels of oil, a third more than previous estimates.

However, the most positive news for BG came from Australia, where earlier this week it got the green light for a liquid natural gas project after it was approved by the government, which will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world. BG plans to sink $15bn into the project, which will involve the construction of a 540km underground pipeline in Queensland that will take gas to the coast to be exported by tanker. It is expected to produce 8.5m tonnes of liquified natural gas each year when it comes on line in 2014, equivalent to a tenth of the UK’s total gas consumption.