BG may have more selldowns in pipeline


BRITISH gas giant BG Group has not ruled out a further selldown of its Queensland Curtis LNG project at Gladstone after this week's $US5 billion ($4.8bn) deal to sell a 20 per cent stake in the project to China's state-owned National Offshore Oil Corp.

The deal was revealed on Wednesday night by BG, along with third-quarter earnings that contained a shock downgrade in production forecasts from operations outside Australia that sent the company's share price tumbling 14 per cent in London to the biggest one day fall since listing in the 1980s.

On the subsequent earnings call, BG chief executive Frank Chapman was asked whether the company was in discussions with other parties about further equity sales of the $US20.4bn QCLNG project being built at Gladstone to export coal seam gas. "I won't be speculating with you . . . about the equity sales," Sir Frank said.

BG's poor production performance and a $US5 billion cost overrun at Gladstone announced earlier this year has led to speculation the company has stepped up its cash preservation efforts and may need to sell down an even greater stake in the project.

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