UPDATE 2-BG Group's record output limits oil price fallout
* Q2 core earnings fall 48 percent, but beat forecasts
* Production rises on Australia, Brazil ramp ups
* BG has accepted $70 billion takeover from Shell
* Shell has flagged BG's access to growth markets (Adds details, shares)
By Ron Bousso
LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - BG Group's oil and gas production hit record levels in the second quarter, limiting the damage of a near-halving in profits due to persistently weak crude prices.
Britain's BG, which has accepted a $70 billion takeover bid from Royal Dutch Shell, on Friday reported a 48 percent drop in core earnings from a year earlier to $1.372 billion - but this nevertheless beat analysts' forecast of $1.328 billion.
Shell says it is buying BG for its growth prospects; it has insisted that the benefits of the deal, expected to be completed in early 2016, go beyond the current downturn as BG's focus on gas production in Australia and east Africa and Brazil's deepwater oil fields offers access to growth markets and higher cash flow.
This assertion was supported by a 19 percent rise in BG's output during the quarter to 703,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) - driven by Australia and Brazil - which helped cushion the company's sharp drop in income. Continuación...