Document and Entity Information (USD $)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2010
Feb. 22, 2011
Jun. 30, 2010
Document and Entity Information [Abstract]      
Entity Registrant Name WHITING PETROLEUM CORP    
Entity Central Index Key 0001255474    
Document Type 10-K    
Document Period End Date Dec. 31, 2010    
Amendment Flag false    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2010    
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer Yes    
Entity Voluntary Filers No    
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes    
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer    
Entity Public Float     $ 4,012,157,212
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   118,115,582