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BP 1Q Profit Fell 2 pct

BP reported a 2 percent fall in first quarter volumes

BP reported a 2 percent fall in first quarter volumes to 4.025 mln barrels of oil equivalent per day, reflecting the lingering effect of the storm-related disruptions.

The latest figure, which was marginally changed from the 4.022 mln boepd it pumped in the fourth quarter of 2005, was below BP's 2006 guidance of 4.1-4.2 mln boepd.

Excluding volumes from BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP, output in the first quarter is expected to be around 3.035 mln boepd, down from 3.13 mln boepd a year earlier but ahead of the 2.995 mln boepd it produced in the fourth quarter.

'There's a progressive return of the production affected by (hurricanes) Rita and Katrina,' said a BP spokesman.

BP owns a 28.5 pct stake in Mars, which was heavily damaged by the hurricanes. Operator Royal Dutch Shell PLC owns 71.5 pct.

BP's share of production from TNK-BP is expected to be approximately 990,000 boepd in the first quarter, up from 960,000 boepd a year ago but down from 1.027 mln boepd in the fourth quarter, owing to the effect of disposals and this year's extremely cold weather.