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Higher oil prices fuel third-quarter gains for Questar

Questar Corp.'s earnings for the third quarter rose to more than $15.7 million and 39 cents per share, compared with just under $12.79 million and 31 cents per share a year ago.

Questar chairman and president R.D. Cash also reported Wednesday that the energy company's net income for the first nine months of 1997 had climbed to more than $70.3 million, or $1.71 per share.For the first three quarters of 1996, Questar earned a shade over $63.45 million and $1.55 per share.

At the end of the third quarter, Questar had 41.1 million shares outstanding, up slightly from 40.8 million a year ago.

Cash credited higher oil and gas production and prices, improved net income from the company's interstate pipeline and increased national stock sales in a wireless-communications company - Nextel - for the improved earnings figures.

Nextel generated a $3.1 million after-tax gain this year, compared with $800,000 for the same quarter of 1996.