Whiting Petroleum's growth plan is based on an oil and gas portfolio with low risk, long-lived projects that provide steady cash flows.  It acquires properties in the United States for future development and also sells them along with oil and gas reserves to contribute to its cash flow.
In 2009, WLL incurred a net loss of $106.9 million on total revenues of $979.4 million. This represents a turnaround from 2008, when the company generated a net income of $252.1 million on revenues of $1.32 billion.
Whiting operates through a single business segment. The majority of the company's drilling and exploration is done in the Rocky Mountains.
In North Dakota in the Rocky Mountain Region, Whiting has 83,033 net acres in the enormous Bakken Shale Formation; the U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are upwards of 400 billion barrels of recoverable oil there - an amount that is sufficient to meet US oil needs for 20 years. Stretching across parts of North Dakota, Montana, and Southern Saskatchewan, better technology and techniques such as horizontal drilling are giving way to the development of the full Bakken Formation; higher oil prices also make drilling there more economical.
Whiting Petroleum competes with several other companies in many of the same fields and regions to produce and acquire gas and oil. Four main competitors include: