UPDATE 1-Whiting Petroleum's profit beats estimates on higher oil prices

(Compares with analysts’ estimates, adds details on avg. sales price)

April 30 (Reuters) - Whiting Petroleum Corp reported first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates on Monday as the U.S. oil producer benefited from higher oil prices and production.

Energy companies in North America have been ramping up production in tandem with OPEC’s efforts to cut global output in a bid to take advantage of rising prices.

Whiting’s average sales price rose to $62.92 per barrel of oil and closely tracked the gains in U.S. crude, which averaged about $63 a barrel in the first three months of 2018, 22.5 percent above the 2017 prices.

Its production rose 8.3 percent to 11.43 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the quarter.

The largest oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation posted a net profit of $15 million, or 16 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $87 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Whiting earned 92 cents per share. Analysts expected a profit of 26 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total operating revenue rose 39 percent to $515.08 million. (Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha; Editing by Arun Koyyur)