BG Group

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BG Group is an international natural gas company involved in exploration and production. It operates in 23 countries across Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, and employs around 5500 people.

British Gas became BG Group after a demerger to form Centrica. BG Group took over the transmission, exploration and production of gas from the former nationalised British Gas company.

BG Group has significant shale gas assets in the United States.



David Varney, a former Chief Executive of BG, was paid £474,150 in 1999 (and £433,873 in 1998), which he describes as 'enough to keep me satisfied'. His 'base' salary (before bonuses) for 2000 was £500,000. He held options on 724,107 shares under a BG incentive scheme. He was a Director of Shell until 1996. He is Chair of the London New Deal Employer's Coalition and is a member of the Government's Ministerial Performance Review Panel for the New Deal. He was part of the Government's Welfare-to-Work Task Force in London, a position that Derek Draper, the former assistant to Peter Mandelson, said in 1998 that he had received because of pressure from BG's lobbying company GPC Market Access (BG denies this, of course). In a brochure for GPC, Varney is quoted as admitting the appointment to the Welfare-to-Work Taskforce gave him 'the opportunity to communicate...assessments of a particular situation clear and undiluted to senior Ministers. The insights into Government...are valuable in a wider business context.'

Political donations

  • BG Group gave the Labour Party more than £5,000 in sponsorship in 1998 and in 2000-2001.



  • Andrew Gould - chairman of the board, became chief executive after Chris Finlayson stepped down in April 2014. Will revert to becoming a non-executive chairman only once a replacement CEO has been found
  • Baroness Hogg, director of HM Treasury


  • Sir John Grant, executive vice president of policy and corporate affairs BG Group plc since 2009. Grant is a former UK diplomat (1976 to 2007), who held postings as the UK’s permanent representative to the European Union from 2003 to 2007. He held a number of roles in the UK Permanent Representative in Brussels between 1989 and 1997, and was Britain’s EU Ambassador from 2003 – 2007. Grant sits on the advisory board of lobbying group MHP Communications [1]

Former board members and executives

  • Chris Finlayson - CEO, was ousted by BG's board in April 2014 after just 15 months in the job. Finlayson previously worked at Shell until 2010. [2]
  • Dame Stella Rimington, former head of the UK's internal spy organisation, MI5, also sits on the board of BG as a Non-Executive Director (she was paid £25,000 in 1999).



Lobbying firms


  • Alpine Group has been paid $50,000 as of May 2014 for the year to date by British Gas North America [3]


  • Maitland Political - Association of Professional Political Consultants. APPC Register Entry, 1 Jun - 31 Aug 2011

Company history

  • 1986 In August 1986 Privatisation of British Gas Corporation by the UK Government. All assets transferred to BritishGas plc, shares first traded in December.
  • 1997 In February 1997 the shareholders of British Gas plc approved the demerger of Centrica plc. British Gas plc was renamed BG plc.
  • 1999 In December 1999 BG plc completed a financial restructuring which resulted in the creation of a new parent company, BG Group plc.
  • 2000 In October 2000 BG Group plc completed the demerger of Lattice Group plc creating two separate companies.
  • 2002 In October 2002 Lattice Group plc merged with National Grid to form National Grid Transco.
  • 2005 In July 2005 National Grid Transco plc was renamed National Grid plc to provide a unifying identity across its operations.[4]



  1. Sir John Grant KCMG, MHP Communications website, accessed 11 December 2014
  2. Chris Finlayson resigns as BG Group Chief Executive, Press release, BG Group, 28 April 2014, acc 12 May 2014
  3. Alpine Group: Summary 2014 Groups That Have Retained Alpine Group:], Open, Center for Responsive Politics, acc 12 May 2014
  4. BG plc BG History, accessed 28 August 2008