UPDATE 2-Russia's Lukoil 2013 profit falls on write-offs at major projects
* Net profit at $7.8 bln due to write-offs
* Takes charges on projects once considered headliners
* Set to launch Iraqi West Qurna-2
By Katya Golubkova and Olesya Astakhova
MOSCOW, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Lukoil, Russia's No.2 oil producer, posted worse-than-expected net profit in 2013, hit by write-offs at some major projects it once touted as the breakthrough finds to boost earnings.
As one of only a handful of private energy companies in Russia, where the sector is dominated by state-controlled firms such as Gazprom and Rosneft, Lukoil is struggling to access large new deposits at home and is being forced to expand abroad.
It will launch its West Qurna-2 field in Iraq this spring which it expects to at least double its foreign oil output this year.
About six percent of its total oil output of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) last year came from foreign operations, mainly from Kazakhstan. It hopes to raise its share of overseas hydrocarbon production to 17 percent over the next six years.
Lukoil said on Wednesday its 2013 net profit was hit by a $2.4 billion write-off of the value of some of its assets, including its Yuzhnoye Khylchuyu oil field in Russia's Timan-Pechora and from projects in West Africa, once considered by the company as some of its most promising assets. Continuación...