Strong 3Q for Total and BG Group

Strong 3Q for Total and BG Group

Two of Europe's biggest energy companies reported strong third quarter results Wednesday, with France's Total adding that it remains confident about upstream growth.

Total reported that its production of hydrocarbons during the third quarter amounted to 2.27 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), which was down slightly on the 3Q 2011's figure of 2.32 million boepd. But the French firm's adjusted net income for the quarter was 20 percent greater than that for 3Q 2011 at $4.2 billion (EUR 3.3 billion).

Meanwhile, BG Group reported that its production was greater by 5 percent compared to 3Q 2011, with the UK firm's earnings greater by 16 percent at $1.2 billion.

Total said it remained confident in its outlook for profitable growth in its upstream operations thanks to the ramp-up of recent start-ups and the progress of major projects in development. Notable among these, said the company, are its Tempa Rossa field in Italy, the development of which was begun this quarter.

Total's CEO Christophe de Margerie added in a statement that the firm's exploration activities were entering a period "rich with high-potential wells", particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Kenya and Gabon.

BG Group said that its 5-percent production growth was thanks to new projects ramping up, but that this growth was in fact held back by the shutdown of the Total-operated Elgin/Franklin field and a decision earlier in the year to scale back drilling in the United States due to low natural gas prices. Because of this production growth for the whole of 2012 is expected to be around 3 percent, while BG Group also expects the level of production in 2013 to be similar to 2012.

On BG Group's exploration program, Sir Frank Chapman commented in a statement:

"The Papa-1 discovery in Block 3 produced our sixth consecutive exploration success offshore Tanzania. We currently estimate gross recoverable resources discovered to date to be near 10 [trillion cubic feet] with extensive further potential to be explored.

"Elsewhere, exploration of other high potential prospects continued in Australia, Brazil and Egypt. In Kenya, seismic activity identified significant prospectivity in multiple gas and oil prone plays and future opportunities were added to our portfolio offshore Uruguay and India."

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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