BG Group plc (BRGYY.PK)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 25, 2011 7:00 am ET


Frank J. Chapman - Chief Executive, Executive Director, Chairman of Exploration & Appraisal Committee, Chairman of Group Executive Committee, Member of Chairmans Committee, Member of Portfolio Development Committee, Member of Sustainability Committee, Member of Finance Committee and Member of Investment Committee

Fabio De Oliveira Barbosa - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director, Member of Group Executive Committee, Member of Chairmans Committee and Member of Finance Committee

Siobhán Andrews -


Jon Rigby - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Rahim Karim - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Simon Hawkins

Oswald Clint - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Brendan Warn - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Anish Kapadia - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Theepan Jothilingam - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Michael J. Alsford - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Paul G. Spedding - HSBC, Research Division

Irene Himona - Societe Generale Cross Asset Research

Hootan Yazhari - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division



Good afternoon, and welcome to the BG Group Quarter 3 Results Call. [Operator Instructions] Just to remind you, this conference call is being recorded.

Today, I'm pleased to present Sir Frank Chapman, Chief Executive; Fabio Barbosa, Finance Director; and Siobhán Andrews, Deputy Head of Investor Relations.

Siobhán, please begin your meeting.

Siobhán Andrews

Thank you. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to BG Group's third quarter results. During the course of this conference call, our Chief Executive, Sir Frank Chapman; and our Chief Financial Officer, Fabio Barbosa, will take you through the quarter's key business highlights. And Sir Frank and Fabio will take your questions.

During the call, we'll be focusing on our business performance results as highlighted in our results statements. We'll also be making various forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results we currently expect are identified in detail in BG Group's annual report and accounts for 2010.

Thank you, and now over to Sir Frank.

Frank J. Chapman

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm pleased to report that we are making material progress across the portfolio in advancing our growth program. I'll take you briefly through the key developments before handing over to Fabio to guide us through the financial highlights.

I'll start with Australia where we invested $1.3 billion in the quarter and where engineering, procurement and construction are all moving ahead in line with a 2014 first production goal for our Queensland Curtis LNG project. In the Surat Basin, activity is ramping up as the state recovers from the extensive flooding in Queensland at the start of the year. In the third quarter, drilling activities regained impetus with 51 wells drilled using 4 drilling rigs. This trend is set to continue without the 12 drilling rigs now planned for 2012. Momentum is also being restored elsewhere across the project.

In the upstream, good progress continued with the start of construction on the first 2 field compressor stations and with significant advances with the water treatment and storage facilities. The first water treatment plant at Windibri is now complete and ready for start-up. Construction is underway at the Kenya water treatment plant, and we have also awarded a turnkey EPC contract for the northern water plant. Further engineering and procurement work also progressed in support of the imminent award of a contract for the construction of 6 field compressor stations and 1 central processing and compression plant.

At the LNG terminal site on Curtis Island, less than one year on from project sanction, site preparation for the LNG plant is complete. Construction is underway on the foundations for the LNG storage tanks and for the living quarters, which will house the construction workers. Additionally, fabrication of the modules for the LNG facility has begun with propane condenser units being assembled in Thailand.

In parallel, progress continues with the main trunk line and gas collection network where all of the 42-inch steel pipe is being coated, shipped and now hauled to infield locations ready for welding and trenching, so demonstrable progress on multiple fronts on the road to first LNG in 2014.

In Brazil, equally significant advances have been made in the development of our interests there. Commercial production from the Lula field via the first permanent FPSO increased to over 35,000 barrels oil equivalent per day from a single producing well, further demonstrating the prolific nature of our Brazilian pre-salt discoveries. Further producing wells are due onstream by year end.

During the quarter, the 216-kilometer Lula Mexilhão gas pipeline was brought onstream, a key element in the first phase infrastructure supporting development of BG Group's $6 billion BOE net reserves and resources in this pre-salt play.

Elsewhere, the EWT on the Guará Field again demonstrated the prolific nature of our Brazilian discoveries, achieving production rates of up to 30,000 BOE per day from this single well. On completion, at the end of July, the Guará well test had produced a cumulative total of 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent over an effective producing period of just 5 months. Earlier this month, another EWT commenced this time at the Carioca discovery. Alongside excellent production and testing results in the Santos Basin, significant progress is also being made on the construction and procurement of other vital infrastructure. The next 2 FPSO modules are on track as around 70% complete. In fact, the first of those vessels is already on its way to Brazil scheduled to arrive in December this year for commencement of the final fabrication and integration work. Both these 120,000 barrel of oil per day FPSOs are scheduled to be deployed in 2013. In addition to these units, we have also signed letters of intent for the supply, charter and operation of 2 150,000 barrels per day FPSOs units 4 and 5, with both scheduled for start up in 2014. This means that contracts are now committed for all 13 of the first phase FPSOs, in line with the plans outlined by BG Group last December. These 13 FPSOs will all be onstream by 2017 and will deliver an aggregate production capacity of some 2.3 million BOE per day in this, the first phase of our Santos Basin pre-salt progress. So progress across the piece that continues to derisk the development of our world-class interests in Brazil.

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