Milestones met but profit falls

IN 2013 BG Group delivered on all its key milestones, its revenue and operating income were up but its total operating profit was down 5% to $US7.6 billion ($A8.5 billion).

Noel Dyson

During the fourth quarter, revenue and other operating income increased 14% to $5.4 billion, mainly due to a greater proportion of oil in the portfolio, a favourable LNG cargo delivery mix with increased sales to high value Asian markets and lower hedging losses, partly offset by a decrease in overall production volumes and fewer LNG cargo deliveries.

Total operating profit for the quarter grew 4% to $1.9 billion, reflecting the higher revenues, partly offset by higher operating costs and depreciation, depletion and amortisation in the upstream segment.

For the full year, revenue and other operating income grew 1% to $19.1 billion.

A 4% decrease in overall production volumes and fewer LNG cargo deliveries offset the benefits of a higher oil proportion, favourable LNG cargo delivery mix with sales to high value Asian markets and lower hedging losses.

Total operating profit fell 5% to $7.6 billion, with the increase in revenue and operating income more than offset by higher operating costs and DD&A in the upstream segment.

On the milestone front, first gas was delivered onto Curtis Island in Australia before year’s end and the Queensland Curtis LNG project remains on track for first LNG in the fourth quarter of 2014. More importantly, perhaps, it is within the $20.4 billion first phase budget.

In Brazil two floating production, storage and offtake vessels were brought onstream and the production performance from the Santos Basin wells continues to exceed expectations.

The increased exploration spend for the year delivered results on new and existing basins.

In particular, appraisal activity in Tanzania led to total gross recoverable resources being increased from 10 trillion cubic feet to 15Tcf in 2013.

In Brazil there were excellent flow rates from the fourth appraisal well at Iara.

BG increased its acquisition of acreage, securing more than 48,000sq.km and access to another two basins.

In 2014 BG’s production volumes are to be in the range of 590,000-630,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with base assets contributing in the range of 480,000-520,000boepd, excluding portfolio changes.

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