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BG chief denies manipulating gas prices

BG chief denies manipulating gas prices

BG Group, the international oil and gas explorer, yesterday disputed government claims that the operations of the North Sea gas pipeline to the Continent had been manipulated to push up gas prices in Britain.

The differences emerged as the newly demerged company continued the sequence of big profit increases by oil and gas companies but Andrew Bonfield, finance director, denied the company was profiteering. Operating profits last year rose 108pc to ё688m while at net level profits were up from ё202m to ё413m.

Peter Hain, new energy minister, raised the tempo in the argument over high gas prices two days ago when he told MPs the Government wanted an EU inquiry into the interconnector because the government was not convinced the pipeline system was operating in a competitive manner.

Industrial companies have seen the cost of gas double and believe the sharp rise in exports to the Continent where gas prices are higher has been a major factor behind the jump in tariffs in the domestic market.




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