Hess 3Q net income jumps on higher production

NEW YORK -- Hess Corp. nearly doubled its third quarter profits as the company resumed operations in Libya and ramped up production in giant Bakken shale play.

The New York company breezed past Wall Street expectations and shares rose 4 percent in early trading.

Combined, Libya and work in the Bakken, which spreads across the Dakotas an into Montana, drove production 402,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 344,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter of 2011.

Production from the Bakken alone jumped 94 percent to an average of 62,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Hess' assets in Libya averaged 23,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the recent quarter after being shut down in the year-ago quarter as a result of the civil war there.

The New York-based petroleum company earned $557 million, or $1.64 per share, up from $298 million, or 88 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Sales and other operating revenue rose 6 percent to $9.19 billion.

Wall Street had expected a profit of only $1.19 per share on $9.06 billion in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

The company also had an after-tax gain of $349 million from the sale of its interests in the Schiehallion Field and associated assets in the United Kingdom North Sea.

Hess shares rose $2.17 to $54.82 in morning trading.