BG Group share price in focus as company sells gas pipeline Down Under

on Dec 10, 2014
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iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, December 10: BG Group Plc (LON:BG) has agreed to sell a pipeline related to the company’s Queensland Curtis Island liquefied natural gas (QCLNG) project in Australia. The $5 billion (£3.2 billion) sale is part ofthe FTSE 100 explorer’songoing review of its operational, investment and portfolio management plans.

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BG Group’s share price closed 0.42 percent higher at 898.80p in London yesterday. The company’s shares have shed nearly 30 percent over the past year.
The FTSE 100 energy group announced in a statement this morning that it had agreed to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary QCLNG Pipeline Pty Ltd to Australian infrastructure company APA Group (ASX: APA) for about $5 billion. QCLNG Pipeline owns a 543 kilometre, large-diameter underground pipeline network linking BG Group’s natural gas fields in southern Queensland to a two-train LNG export facility at Gladstone on Australia’s east coast.
BG Group’s interim executive chairman Andrew Gould said in the statement that the sale was in line with the company’s “strategy to focus on BG Group’s core areas of oil and gas exploration and production and LNG”. BG has accelerated asset sales in recent months, having disposed of a majority stake in one of the UK’s biggest pipelines and associated infrastructure. Reuters has reported that many investors and analysts expect the company to ultimately offload parts of its portfolio in Brazil and East Africa.
The sale of the Australian pipeline, contingent on the start of commercial LNG deliveries from the QCLNG export facility at Gladstone and on partner consent, is expected to close in the first half of 2015. The FTSE 100 company expects to use the proceeds to reduce net debt and to fund future growth investment.
The Financial Times reports that as of December 9, the consensus forecast amongst 58 polled investment analysts covering BG Group has it that the company will outperform the market. According to Analyst Ratings Network, the UK gas giant currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,242.92p.

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