BG Group Says North Sea Jasmine Field Start Delayed to 2013

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- BG Group Plc said the start of oil and natural-gas production from the North Sea Jasmine field will be delayed to 2013, making it “a little” harder for the U.K.’s third-largest oil company to meet a target for raising output.

“In April, the operator of the Jasmine field advised that production startup is not now expected until 2013,” the company said today in a statement, without giving a reason.

BG still expects to increase its output to 750,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by the end of the year, though it became “a little more difficult” with the delay, said Chief Executive Officer Frank Chapman. The company pumped 669,200 barrels a day in the first quarter, it said today.

Jasmine, one of the U.K.’s largest discoveries since the mid-1990s, was found in 2006 by ConocoPhillips. Output from the first phase of the project was expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Houston-based company said in October 2010.

Peak output will be 88,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. ConocoPhillips holds 36.5 percent of the field, Eni SpA 33 percent and BG 30.5 percent. Chapman said the Buzzard oil field is producing “inline” with plans. The field was shut April 21 after a fault at one of four platforms and resumed operations on April 25, according to Nexen Inc., the operator of the deposit.

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