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Whiting Q3 profit more than doubles on surge in production

By Ernest Scheyder

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Whiting Petroleum Corp, which drills for oil and natural gas in North Dakota, Texas and other shale-rich states, said its quarterly profit more than doubled as production jumped 12 percent.

The company posted third-quarter net income of $204.1 million, or $1.71 per share, compared with $82.9 million, or 70 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding a non-cash $15.7 million loss on crude oil and natural gas derivatives and other one-time items, Whiting posted profit of $1.28 per share.

By that measure, analysts had forecast earnings of $1.09 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 57 percent in the quarter to $830.99 million, above analysts' expectations of $684.4 million in revenue.

Average quarterly production rose 12 percent over the same period last year to 92,750 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

Whiting sold its stake in two Oklahoma oilfields, along with some pipelines, to BreitBurn Energy Partners LP in June for $859.8 million. Whiting sold the land to focus more on its Texas and Colorado projects and to cull debt. The company's debt load sat at $2.65 billion as of Sept. 30, a 47 percent increase over the year-ago period.

Denver-based Whiting bought a stake in 39,310 gross North Dakota and Montana acres in August for $260 million, boosting average daily production by roughly 2,420 boe/d.

Shares of Whiting rose 0.6 percent to $63.63 in after-hours trading. The stock has gained 46 percent so far this year.