UPDATE 2-Egypt output slowdown and low oil price hit BG profits
(Adds details, share price, analyst, CFO comments)
By Karolin Schaps
LONDON Oct 28 (Reuters) - BG Group reported a worse-than-expected 26 percent fall in third-quarter operating profit as its output in Egypt halved and a steep drop in oil prices took its toll on Britain's third-biggest energy company.
However, the oil and gas producer - which has poached long-serving Statoil chief executive Helge Lund to help turn around the flagging British company - is starting to reap benefits from costly investments in Brazil and Australia.
BG's total operating profit fell 26 percent to $1.3 billion in the third quarter, undershooting a company-provided consensus of $1.4 billion. Output in Egypt - which now accounts for about ten percent of its natural gas production - fell to 55,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd)and high domestic demand left it with nothing to export.
Shares in BG were down 2 percent at 1109 GMT, underperforming the FT350 oil and gas index, which was up 0.3 percent.
Its share have plummeted 30 percent since the start of the year compared with the index's roughly 2 percent gain. The fall has been exacerbated by a 25 percent fall in crude prices in the past four months.
But BG's new projects in Brazil, where it first started producing in 2010, started to show positive results as production levels there have risen above 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day for the first time.
Analysts also welcomed reassurance that BG's flagship Queensland Curtis LNG project, a $20.4 billion export facility, was on track to deliver its first cargo by the end of the year. Continuación...