BG to Boost Exploration Expenditure to $1.8 Bln Per Year

BG Group Chief Executive, Chris Finlayson will today deliver a strategy update outlining the next stage of the company’s growth.

The Group’s immediate priority is execution, primarily the delivery of its 2013 milestones and the growth projects in Australia and Brazil.  As detailed in the company’s first quarter results, BG Group is making good progress and expects to see significant volume and cash flow growth in 2014 and 2015.

Today, CEO will address the longer-term outlook, detailing how BG Group will build on its competitive strengths and strong pipeline of new growth opportunities, as a focused E&P and LNG company.

Key elements of BG Group’s strategy include:

  • focusing on areas of distinctive competitive advantage – early stage origination, discovery and development – in upstream oil & gas and in LNG
  • continuing to grow exploration spend over the next three years to $1.8 billion per annum
  • managing the portfolio more actively, monetising assets at different stages in their life cycle and bringing in partners to accelerate value delivery
  • creating a focused portfolio of 10-15 high quality, material assets
  • re-cycling capital into new, high return, early stage growth opportunities
  • returning cash to shareholders in the medium term and prioritising value over production.

BG Group believes this strategy will deliver industry leading growth in shareholder value, driven by its world-class exploration and distinctive LNG model, expecting:

  • strong growth in E&P and LNG volumes
  • the proportion of production with cash margins of more than $50 per barrel oil equivalent (boe) to triple over the next five years
  • earnings to grow faster than production
  • capital expenditure, for the current investment programme, to fall to $8-10 billion per annum from 2015
  • monetisation of up to 50% of discovered resources in the next 10 years, through production or disposal
  • positive free cash flow from 2015 and increasing return on capital employed.

Commenting on the strategy, Finlayson said: “BG Group is a great company with a strong pipeline of projects and deep-set skills and expertise that differentiate us, particularly in exploration and LNG. We are big enough to explore the best frontier acreage but small enough to be agile – valuable attributes, which I intend to keep.

“In a period where LNG demand is expected to grow twice as fast as overall gas demand, with underlying supply needing to grow by nearly 9% to meet total demand, BG Group is well positioned to capitalise on this growing market through our competitive advantages of world-class exploration and a distinctive LNG business, facilitated by our commercial agility.

“While we expect LNG demand to grow, our exposure to oil is also increasing through our outstanding portfolio in Brazil. We are making good progress with the execution of the programme and, as our knowledge of these giant fields grows, we expect further development phases to accelerate production and increase recovery, significantly increasing the value of the assets.

“In order to deliver successfully on this rich opportunity set, we will manage our portfolio more actively, employing simple processes with clear accountabilities, while remaining lean, agile, and suitably resourced.

“I look forward to delivering this strategy for BG Group, ensuring we become a high growth, high quality, global E&P and LNG company delivering excellence in execution and industry leading growth in shareholder value.”

BG Group’s strategy will be presented to analyst and investors at 1200 BST today at an event hosted by BG Group Chairman Andrew Gould and Chief Executive Chris Finlayson. The presentation will be webcast live at
www.bg-group.com, after which a recording and transcript of the event will be available online. The slides used in the presentation will be available online at the same web address from 1200 BST.

Key Financial and Operational outlook and disclosures

Financial outlook

  • Capital expenditure, for current investment programme –
    • 2013-14: approximately $12 billion per annum
    • 2015-16: $8-10 billion per annum
  • Positive free cash flow from 2015
  • Commitment to long-term mid-single A credit rating
  • Dividends to rise broadly in line with underlying earnings growth; cash returned to shareholders in the medium term.

Production & Exploration outlook

  • 2013 Group production range of 630-660 000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (kboed) re-affirmed, excluding portfolio changes
  • 2015 Group production range of 775-825 kboed, excluding portfolio changes
  • 2013-15 average production range from base assets* of 530-580 kboed; consistent with 2013 guidance
  • 2013-15 unit lifting costs of $6-7/boe from base assets*
  • 2013-15 average capital expenditure of $2-3 billion per annum on base assets*
  • Exploration spend to increase from $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion per annum over next three years.

*     Bolivia, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Norway, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, UK, USA.

LNG outlook

  • 2013-15 average offtake from existing long-term LNG supply sources* in range of
    10.5-12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa)
  • 2015 LNG offtake volumes in range of 17-20 mtpa, including ramp-up at QCLNG and Sabine Pass (excluding spot volumes).

*     Egypt, Trinidad & Tobago and West Africa. Excluding QCLNG and Sabine Pass.

Major growth projects – Australia and Brazil

Australia

  • On track for first LNG in 2014
  • 8 mpta offtake at QCLNG expected to be reached by 2016
  • QGC strongly cash positive from  2015
  • High margin production expected to deliver $3.5-4 billion operating cash flow per annum on plateau.

Brazil

  • 15 FPSO programme on schedule and budget to deliver 2.6 million boed gross production capacity and net production to BG Group of some 500 kboed by 2020, at current equity levels
  • Full development of the BM-S-9 and BM-S-11 fields could result in peak BG Group net production well in excess of 600 kboed, at current equity levels
  • Low unit cost development, high margins and economic break-even of less than $40/boe
  • BG Group to invest an average of around $3 billion per annum 2013-18.

 

Press Release, May 14, 2013

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