Dominion Resources is selling most of its natural gas and oil exploration and production business.

The Virginia-based company says proceeds from the sale would be used to reduce Dominion's debt and buy back stock.

President and CEO Thomas Farrell says the sale will help make Dominion's stock more attractive to investors because the oil and natural gas business is too volatile.

The CEO says Dominion will retain the natural-gas exploration and production business it owns in the central Appalachians.

The sale begins in February and is expected to be completed sometime the following year.

Dominion Hope, a Dominion Resources subsidiary based in Clarksburg, is West Virginia's second-largest gas company.

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