Total adj net profit falls 7 pct in Q1

PARIS, April 26 Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:12am EDT

PARIS, April 26 (Reuters) - French oil major Total reported first-quarter net adjusted profit down 7 percent year-on-year to 2.9 billion euros ($3.77 billion), hit by lower production due to a leak in the North Sea and a fall in oil prices.

Brent crude oil prices have been on a downward trend since February, falling below $100 per barrel earlier this month for the first time in nine months, but have edged up since then and were last trading near $102.

Unadjusted net profit fell 58 percent to 1.5 billion euros in the first quarter, hit by the sale of a stake in an oil sands project in Canada.

Total said last month it would book a $1.65 billion first-quarter loss on its withdrawal from the long-delayed Voyageur Upgrader project in Canada after partner Suncor pulled the plug on the plant, citing lower potential returns.

Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said earlier this year he expected oil and gas output to grow by 2 to 3 percent in 2013. Its longer-term target is for 3 million barrels of output capacity in 2017.

"Total continues to progress with confidence toward achieving its goals," Margerie said in a statement on Friday.

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