Northern Oil and Gas, a major player in the North Dakota oil boom, turned a profit in the first quarter on surging crude output and record revenue.

The company on Monday reported $8.8 million in net earnings for the first quarter ending March 31, compared with a $7 million loss a year earlier.

The Wazata-based company said production rose 117 percent from the period a year ago and climbed 21 percent from the previous quarter, for a record 775,000 barrels produced. Revenue rose to $65 million, up from $27 million a year ago.

Per-share earnings of 14 cents would have been 23 cents except for a one-time loss on derivatives. The company had positive earnings in three of the past four quarters.

CEO Michael Reger called it "another breakthrough quarter" with record production, oil and gas sales and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The pace of drilling increased, as did the number of acres Northern Oil holds under lease in North Dakota and Montana, he said.

The company said the equivalent of nearly 14 wells were completed during the first quarter, giving it 71.8 net wells. The company, which does not operate drill rigs, holds minority stakes in many wells drilled by others, and reports them as well equivalents. About 40 percent of the wells came on line in the last six months, the company said.

In a separate announcement, the company said it intends to privately offer $250 million in senior notes to repay borrowings under its revolving credit facility, to fund capital expenses and for other purposes.

Shares closed Monday at $18.78, up 9 cents.

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090

1st quarter FY2012, 3/31

2012 2011 % chg. Revenue $50.5 $2.5 +1899.5 Income 8.8 -7.1 -- Earn/share 0.14 -0.11 --

Figures in millions except for earnings per share.