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UPDATE 1-Energen's quarterly profit beats on higher oil prices

(Adds details on results, background, compares with estimates)

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Energen Corp reported a fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday that beat estimates, helped by higher realized oil prices and its efforts to focus on the prolific Permian basin.

Energen, which has been selling assets for the last five years, said it produced 974,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the reported quarter, from 535,000 boe/d, a year earlier.

U.S. oil producers have benefited from rising shale oil prices, which hovered at highs of around $60 in the fourth quarter, recovering from the lows of around $26 in early 2016.

The company's average price of oil sold rose 27.5 percent to $52.75 per barrel.

The Alabama-based company's net income was $262.4 million, or $2.68 per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $54.5 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Energen earned 63 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate of 42 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which is in the middle of a proxy battle with Keith Meister-led Corvex Management, said total revenue more than doubled to $271.8 million. (Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)