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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 May, 2004, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Output rise fires up BG profits
Gas flame
Higher profits give a warm feeling to BG
Higher output and a rise in natural gas prices have helped to boost first-quarter profits at BG Group.

Both factors helped to offset the negative impact of the weak dollar, the company said, as it reported pre-tax profits up 13% at 335m ($586m).

Output was up 10% thanks largely to strong output from gas fields in Egypt and the North Sea.

"BG has made a good start to the year in line with our expectations," said chief executive Frank Chapman.


Mr Chapman added that the firm had acquired "valuable producing and exploration properties" during the quarter.

The company recently expanded into Canada with the acquisition of El Paso Oil and Gas Canada for 192m.

This gave the company its first foothold in the region for 12 years.

The firm has also restarted export production from its Karachaganak field in Kazakhstan.

However, pipeline contamination problems will delay the start of exports from the field to Novorossiysk on the Black Sea until the second quarter, the company said.

BG Group was formed in 1997 after British Gas was split into two companies.

Its core business is liquid natural gas and the company is currently running exploration projects in Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, Kazakhstan, South America and India.

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