NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Energy Partners (EPL) shares were surging Monday morning after the independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company announced a $20 million stock repurchase program.

Shares were spiking 8.2% to $13.27.

"This new repurchase program underscores our commitment to maximizing shareholder value," the company's CEO Gary Hanna said in a press release.

The repurchase will take place in the open market on the New York Stock Exchange and in privately-negotiated transactions.

Energy Partners -- with about $85 million of cash on hand, an undrawn $150 million credit facility and no change to its strong cash flow outlook -- announced that the company will fund the stock repurchases with cash on hand.

Based on Energy Partners' closing price of $12.26 a share on the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 26, a $20 million buyback would represent about 4% of the company's 40.2 million outstanding shares of common stock.

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The repurchased shares could be used by the company to provide shares for possible resale in future public or private offerings and its employee benefit plans.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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