LUKoil Misses Q1 Estimates As W. Siberian Output Slips

LUKoil, the country's biggest independent oil producer, on Wednesday reported first-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates after production declined at west Siberian fields.

Net income more than doubled to $3.16 billion from $1.3 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement. That missed the $3.35 billion median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. LUKoil ended the day down in Moscow, falling 6.1 percent on the MICEX stock exchange.

Crude oil output fell 4.5 percent to 1.92 million barrels per day in the period and production in western Siberia, where the company produces 62 percent of its crude, declined 5.5 percent. Fields there continued "maturing," LUKoil said.

"A significant impact on our production in the period was caused by a lack of sufficient power-generating capacities to meet the growing demand for extra power ... in west Siberia," LUKoil said.

Total revenue advanced 59 percent to $25.1 billion. Hydrocarbon output, including natural gas, fell 2 percent to 2.19 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from 2.24 million barrels of oil per day in first quarter.

"Some people may have had high expectations," Igor Kurinny, of ING, said from London. "A fall in production for the first quarter was expected and shouldn't surprise the market. I think what we're seeing now is that people are taking profits."

The price for Urals crude, Russia's export blend, averaged $92.84 a barrel in the period, up 70 percent, according to data complied by Bloomberg. Record export duties helped make domestic refining more attractive, while LUKoil's retail operations benefited from increased sales of foreign cars that boosted demand for higher quality fuels.