UPDATE 2-France's Total posts forecast-topping Q2 profit
(Adds details, analyst, shares)
By Marie Maitre
PARIS Aug 1 (Reuters) - French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) said second-quarter net income surged 39 percent to 4.7 billion euros ($7.32 billion) and beat analysts' forecasts, thanks to high oil prices and a small increase in production as new fields came onstream.
The result included unrealised gains from a rise in the value of fuel inventories of 1.154 billion euros.
Stripping this and one-off items out, the underlying result was 3.723 billion euros, ahead of an average forecast of 3.646 billion euro in a Reuters poll of 11 analysts.
"Good clean results .. Better-than-expected upstream production was key to the beat," David Thomas, oil analyst at Citigroup, said in a research note.
Shares in the world's fourth-largest fully publicly traded oil group by market value fell 1.98 percent to trade at 48.44 euros at 0856 GMT, in line with the fall in the DJ Stoxx European oil and gas sector index .SXEP.
Total's underlying result rose 39 percent in dollar terms, compared to a rise of 61 percent at larger British rival BP Plc (BP.L) and a rise of around 25 percent at Europe's largest oil group by market value, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L).
Total again bucked a trend of flat or falling oil and gas production among rivals like Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N).
The start-up of its Jura gas and condensate field in the UK North Sea, and of the 90,000 barrel a day Moho Bilondo offshore oil field in the Republic of Congo helped lift Total's output by 1 percent to 2.353 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
A 76 percent year-on-year rise in the price of crude in the second quarter, to an average of around $120 a barrel, underpinned the upstream business of France's biggest listed company with a market capitalisation of just about $180 billion.
The group made no comment on its production outlook. It had previously said this would rise on average by closer to 3 percent between 2006 and 2010, rather than 4 percent earlier envisaged. (Additonal reporting by Tom Bergin in London; Editing by David Cowell and Sue Thomas)
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