UK gas company BG Group Plc is looking at expanding its presence in Asia although it has recently sold large production assets in the region, the company's top executive for Asia said.

David Roberts, managing director for Asia and the Middle East, said BG was examining a number of new drilling opportunities and the possible purchase of discovered reserves in Southeast Asia.

"We're doing the basic work to understand prospectivity and what's out there and certainly that should lead to options and opportunities both on an exploration type of basis and also on a discovered reserves basis," Roberts said.

Roberts would not identify any deals BG is considering.

He added that BG was not looking at a corporate transaction, apparently ruling the company out of a bid for Asia-focused US oil company Unocal, which industry sources say is considering a possible sale.

BG itself is regularly tipped as a takeover target. The company's management has said it is open to offers but a sale is not something being pursued.

The company is selling its minority stake in the huge Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan and last year sold its interest in the Indonesian Tangguh gas field.

Roberts said BG was selling out of Kashagan because it was primarily an oil project, while the company saw little opportunity in adding value in the Tangguh project which is being led by larger UK rival BP Plc.

"Asia matches the BG story and BG's strategy. It has high intensity and high value markets," Roberts said.

Asia accounts for a small percentage of BG's total production of 460,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

BG's production is mainly focused on the UK North Sea, Trinidad and Egypt. It has made a big bet on liquefied natural gas, particularly around the Atlantic basin.