MOSCOW, May 29 (Reuters) - Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer by output, reported a 33 percent fall in first-quarter net profit to $1.7 billion on Thursday.
One of the few non-state oil producers in Russia, Lukoil said its bottom line had been hit by depreciation of the rouble and by a $358 million loss on the disposal of its Kazakh venture, Caspian Investment Resources, to China's Sinopec, expected to be completed by the end of the year.
A Reuters poll of analysts had expected Lukoil to post profit of $2.15 billion for the first three months of the year. First-quarter revenue was $35.68 billion, against $33.77 billion in the same period last year.
Lukoil also said it had to write off $162 million from its exploration projects in Africa, once considered by the company to be a region of high potential.
The first-quarter write-off follows the $2.4 billion it wiped off the value of some of its assets last year, including projects in West Africa.
In March Lukoil began commercial production at one of the world's largest untapped oilfields in Iraq. Production at the West Qurna-2 field is forecast to peak at 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), from an initial 120,000 bpd.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Katya Golubkova; Editing by David Goodman)
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