Oct 28 (Reuters) - Oil and natural gas producer Noble Energy Inc posted lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as U.S. oil production disappointed analysts partly due to an ongoing lack of infrastructure in a key shale field.
Net income jumped to $419 million, or $1.12 per share, from$205 million, or 56 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding a $397 million gain for oil and natural gas hedging and other one-time items, Noble Energy earned 28 cents per share.
By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 36 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Downtime at a third-party processing plant in Noble Energy's Denver-Julesberg shale field again dented production growth.
Total sales volumes rose 3 percent to 302,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). The result was "a touch below expectations," energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co said in a note to clients.
Noble Energy expects fourth-quarter sales volumes of about 307,000 to 327,000 boe/d.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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