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Whiting Petroleum posts 3Q profit; production up

NEW YORK -- Whiting Petroleum Corp. said Wednesday that it posted a profit in the third quarter as production rose 17 percent, while prices for oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids fell.

In the quarter that ended Sept. 30, Whiting reported net income of $82.9 million, or 70 cents per share. That compared with net income of $206 million, or $1.74 per share, in the year-ago quarter when the Denver company had a one-time pre-tax non-cash gain of $142.5 million.

Excluding one-time items, Whiting earned $86.9 million, or 73 cents per share.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $530.5 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted, on average, earnings of 79 cents per share on revenue of $518.9 million.

Whiting's production of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids rose to 7.6 million barrels of oil equivalent from 6.5 million barrels of oil equivalent in the third quarter of 2011.

Its average realized price for oil was $80.86 per barrel, a 3 percent drop from a year ago. The price for natural gas was $3.44 per 1,000 cubic feet, down 31 percent, and the price for natural gas liquids was $30.77 per barrel of oil equivalent, down 46 percent.

During the fourth quarter, Whiting expects to produce between 7.6 million and 8 million barrels of oil equivalent. For the year, the forecast ranged from 29.9 million to 30.3 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Whiting shares fell 77 cents to end at $43.68. The stock has ranged from $35.68 to $63.97 per share in the past 52 weeks.

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