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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 12:18 GMT
Energy prices boost for BG Group
BG Group platform
Rising oil and gas prices have boosted BG's profits
UK energy exploration and production firm BG Group is to carry out a 1bn ($1.74bn) share buy-back plan, after announcing a 44% profits rise.

High oil and gas prices, and global demand for energy, helped boost third quarter profits to 308m.

BG Group chief executive Frank Chapman said: "These are good results which reflect a strong business performance and firm oil and gas prices."

The firm formed in the 1997 demerger of British Gas into BG Group and Centrica.

'New growth'

The share buy-back follows BG's sale of its stake in the Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan for 800m.

Mr Chapman said: "The strength of our financial position and outlook enables us to return 1bn to shareholders and increase our investment in new growth projects by 500m."

The buy-back should be carried out over 12 to 18 months, according on market and economic conditions, BG said.

Reading-based BG has operations in 20 countries, and has 800,000 shareholders.

The firm's extensive holdings in North Sea and other gas fields has become more valuable as natural gas prices have increased sharply.

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