ConocoPhillips reported on Wednesday a 71 percent decline in its quarterly profit as weak demand for fuel hurt its refining business and oil prices fell from a year-ago.

Conoco, the third-largest U.S. oil major, reported a third-quarter profit of $1.5 billion, or $1.00 per share, compared with $5.2 billion, or $3.39 per share a year earlier.

Year-to-date output from the company's exploration and production arm, excluding its 20 percent stake in Lukoil , averaged 1.86 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE), up from 1.76 million a year earlier.

Revenue was $40 billion, down sharply from $70 billion a year earlier.

Shares of the Houston company fell slightly to $51.37 in premarket trade, down from Tuesday's New York Stock Exchange close of $51.40.

(Reporting by Anna Driver, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)