Dominion selling natural gas and oil unit

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Dominion Resources has agreed to sell its natural gas and oil exploration and production business to CONSOL Energy for $3.48 billion.

The sale of Appalachian E&P is part of Dominion’s plan to move toward a regulated business model. The sale will reduce Dominion’s commodity sensitivity by 20 percent and eliminate the need to issue new shares to fund infrastructure through 2011, according to a statement by Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II.

The sale, which is expected to close April 30, will also increase the company’s other natural gas pipeline and storage businesses and reduce capital expenditures by $200 million a year, Farrell said.

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