BG Group CFO Barbosa steps down; becomes Chairman of South America division

Natural gas provider BG Group has reported a major management change with Chief Financial Officer Fabio Barbosa stepping down from his dual role as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director and becoming Chairman of BG South America.

Natural gas provider BG Group has reported a major management change with Chief Financial Officer Fabio Barbosa stepping down from his dual role as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director and becoming Chairman of BG South America.

As Chairman of BG South America, Barbosa will report to Chief Executive Chris Finlayson. He will be based in Rio de Janeiro and will provide senior counsel and advice to the BG teams in Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil.

Barbosa has also stepped down from being a member of BG Group's Group Executive Committee and other committee. A statement issued by BG Group reported that Barbosa's decision to step down from these roles was "for personal reasons".

Commenting on Barbosa's appointment, BG Group Chairman Andrew Gould said: "I would like to express on behalf of BG Group's board our sincere thanks to Fabio for all his excellent work as Chief Financial Officer over the last two years.

"His efforts in the execution of the portfolio rationalisation programme and in diversifying and broadening our funding options and sources have been instrumental in materially strengthening our balance sheet position, helping underpin investment in, and the delivery of, our key global growth opportunities. As Chairman of BG South America, Fabio's wealth of experience will prove important in realising the huge value inherent in our substantial interests in the region."

Den Jones, BG Group Financial Controller, who acted as Barbosa's alternate director during Fabio's leave of absence, has today been appointed a director of BG Group. As a director, Den will continue to fulfil the role of BG Group Interim Chief Financial Officer pending the conclusion of a succession process for the role of Chief Financial Officer.

CFO successor being sought The group reported that the succession process would comprise both an examination of potential internal candidates and an external search. Chris Finlayson will continue as Chairman of the Investment Committee for this interim period.

Analyst view on BG Group prospectsCommenting two days ago on BG Group's performance, Brendan Warn, an equity analyst at Jefferies, said: "We believe shareholders will ultimately benefit from the company focusing on core value creative activities including LNG [Liquified Natural Gas] and exploration." He gave the company a "buy" rating and a price target of 1,700.00p.

Commenting on whether the group's projects in the North Sea would be a "problem child" or a "cash cow", the analyst added: "The UK North Sea has been a substantial contributor of net cashflows, while on the other hand, the ageing facilities and HPHT [High Pressure and High Temperature] assets can be tied to most of BG's production guidance misses. We question the need for BG to remain in the North Sea long term."

Following on from the rhetorical question; whether the market would reward a withdrawal from the North Sea, he answered: "For the right price, we believe so. We optimistically forecast BG's net UK production at approximately 106,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2013 - up from 96,000 boepd in 2012-supported by the late Jasmine field ramp-up in the fuorth quarter of fiscal year 2013 and return of Elgin Franklin High Pressure and High Temperature volumes."

MF

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