UPDATE 1-Whiting Petroleum profit beats as Bakken production surges

Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:30pm EDT

(Adds earning comparison, new capital budget forecast, stock move)

July 30 (Reuters) - Whiting Petroleum Corp posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as oil and natural gas production jumped across the company's wells in North Dakota and Colorado's shale formations.

Whiting, which is about to become the largest oil producer in North Dakota's Bakken shale with the buyout of a smaller rival, boosted its capital budget by $100 million to $2.8 billion and said 2014 production should beat 2013 levels by 20 percent, citing in part better-than-expected well results.

"We believe we have plenty of running room in the Williston Basin" of North Dakota, Whiting Chief Executive James Volker said in a statement.

The company reported net income of $151.4 million, or $1.26 per share, in the second quarter, compared with $134.7 million, or $1.14 per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding losses on oil and natural gas derivatives and other one-time items, the company posted income of $1.40 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $1.28 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Production jumped 18 percent to 109,760 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Whiting agreed earlier this month to buy smaller rival Kodiak Oil & Gas Inc for $3.8 billion in stock, a deal that will make it the largest oil producer in North Dakota's prolific Bakken shale formation.

Shares of Whiting rose slightly to $87.90 in after-hours trading. As of Wednesday's close, the stock has gained 42 percent so far this year. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler)

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