Oct 29 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Whiting Petroleum Corp posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as production rose 33 percent at its North Dakota wells.
The company, which is set to buy Kodiak Oil and Gas Inc in December to become the largest North Dakota oil producer, said it was watching the recent dips in the price of oil closely, but believes its technology and efficient operations help offset the drop. Whiting reported an 8 percent drop in its realized crude price during the third quarter.
"Despite the recent pullback in oil prices, we remain confident in our outlook for continued strong growth in our production and reserves," Chief Executive James Volker said in a statement.
Denver-based Whiting posted net income of $158 million, or $1.32 per share, compared with $204 million, or $1.71 per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.24 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $1.21 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Oil production rose 26 percent to 10.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
Whiting expects to produce 11.1 million to 11.5 million boe in the fourth quarter.
Shares of Whiting are down about 3 percent so far this year, closing Wednesday trading at $60.03.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Bernard Orr)
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