Occidental Petroleum ( OXY) said Wednesday that its net income for the third quarter rose by nearly 10% from a year ago. Earnings for the quarter were $1.21 billion, or $1.45 a share, compared with $1.10 billion, or $1.28 a share, during the third quarter of 2006. Revenue grew to $4.84 billion from $4.40 billion last year. An analyst survey conducted by Thomson Financial had forecast that Occidental would earn $1.24 a share in the quarter. Chairman and CEO Ray Irani said that increases in production volumes and higher worldwide crude oil prices were responsible for the strong results in the quarter. Occidental's pretax earnings from oil and gas operations were $2.03 billion, up from $1.79 billion a year earlier, partly because of higher realized energy prices. The company earned an average of $67.81 a barrel of oil in the third quarter of 2007, compared with an average $61.83 per barrel in 2006. It also earned an average $6.69 per thousand cubic feet of natural gas last quarter, vs. an average $6.33 during the same period last year. Occidental's chemicals segment had a pretax profit of $212 million in the quarter, compared with $248 million a year ago. Lower chemical refining margins were responsible for the downward move. The company's stock was recently trading 0.5% higher at $67.09.