BG Group sells Brazilian gas arm for £1.1bn
BG Group, the exploration arm of the former British Gas, sold its majority stake in a Brazilian gas distribution business for $1.8bn (£1.1bn) as it unveiled a 21 per cent jump in first-quarter operating profits.
The group, whose chief executive is Sir Frank Chapman, said it was selling its 60 per cent stake in Comgas to Brazil's Cosan as part of a $5bn disposal programme to reduce BG's reliance on "downstream" activities, such as distribution and power generation, so it can increase its exposure to more lucrative "upstream" oil and gas exploration.
BG's strategy was given credence by the group's first-quarter profit growth, fuelled by high oil and gas prices and a 5 per cent rise in hydrocarbon production to 670,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.
The company's liquefied natural gas (LNG) business also played a key role in BG's profits growth, with strong demand from Asia pushing the unit's first-quarter operating profit up by 42 per cent to $812m.
Spot prices in Asia, which buys the bulk of BG's LNG output, averaged $16 per million British therm unit in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $9.93 per million the year before.
Brent crude averaged $118.60 a barrel over the period, up 12 per cent from $105.43 last year.
Meanwhile, the average payment BG received per therm of gas (excluding LNG) increased 4 per cent to 41.15 cents, compared to the year earlier, despite prices tumbling by a third in the US over the period as the shale gas revolution greatly increased America's supply.
Although BG posted strong profits, its shares fell by 26.5p to 1,424.5p, as the group increased its estimate of the cost of a giant, new LNG project in Queensland, Australia – known as QCLNG – for the second time.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 3 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
- 4 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Germanwings plane crash: Investigators may have already found remains of suspected killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...