LONDON, May 8 (UPI) -- BG Group said Friday it mirrored its peers by posting a drop in core earning but an increase in production, though it was still keen on Shell's acquisition.
British energy company BG Group said earnings for the first quarter were down 41 percent to $1.6 billion. Oil prices fell by about half from the June highs above the $100 per barrel market during the first quarter, squeezing profits for most energy companies.
Revenue from upstream operations, the exploration and production side of the energy sector, was hardest hit for BG Group, though the company said actual production increased during the first quarter.
Total production for the British company increased by 1 percent, though from its Australian and Brazilian assets, output more than doubled.
"We have had a solid operational start to the year," BG Group Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said in a statement.
The board of directors at Shell and BG Group reached an agreement in April for the Dutch company's acquisition of its rival.
The deal, valued at around $70 billion, is among the largest acquisitions since the Exxon Mobil merger was completed in 1999. Its announcement came at a time when most energy companies were streamlining capital expenses in a weak oil market.
Lund said the deal, expected to close in early 2016, remained "attractive" to his company.
"Until then, BG Group will operate independently and our teams remain focused on delivering our plans safely and efficiently," he said.