Hess Doubles 3Q Profit on Bakken Shale, Libya Drilling

By Jennifer Booton Energy FOXBusiness

Days after Sandy barreled through the East Coast and left millions without power and two-hour lines at gas stations, Hess (HES) on Friday said earnings doubled in the third quarter.

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The gains were led by a ramp up in oil exploration and production in Libya and the Bakken shale as well as stronger oil and gas prices. 

Shares of Hess were up more than 3% to $54.28 Friday. 

The New York-based gas station operator posted net income of $557 million, or $1.64 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $298 million, or 88 cents.

Excluding one-time items, Hess earned $495 million. Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll were looking for non-GAAP earnings of $1.19 a share.

Revenue for the three-month period climbed 6% to $9.19 billion, missing the Street’s view of $9.25 billion, while exploration and production income grew to $608 million from $422 million a year ago.

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Oil and gas production during the quarter climbed to 402,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from 344,000 in the same 2011 period.

Bakken shale production in North Dakota doubled to 62,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day and the company resumed operations in Libya.

Average worldwide crude oil selling prices were $86.69 a barrel compared with $85.81 a year ago, while natural gas selling prices averaged $5.88 mcf compared with $5.74 in 2011.