Plains Exploration & Production

(PXP)

said Wednesday that it plans to sell certain non-strategic oil and gas properties located primarily in California and Texas.

PXP's decision was prompted by high commodity prices and an active asset market, which the independent oil and gas company believes will provide a unique opportunity to capture asset value currently unrecognized by the equity markets.

The properties to be sold have production about 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. PXP intends to realize more than $1 billion from a combination of the sale proceeds and free cash flow for the remainder of the year. The proceeds would be used for reducing debt and share repurchasing, said the company.

The company plans to sell the properties -- which include Buena Vista and Mt. Poso Fields in the San Joaquin Valley, Sansinena Field in the Los Angeles Basin and Pakenham Field in West Texas -- through a combination of negotiated and auction transactions. The sales are expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2006.

The company also announced the promotion of Winston M. Talbert to executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Giving an outlook of the year 2006, the company said that it estimates sales volumes for the second quarter to be between 61,000 and 62,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and sales volume between 63,000 and 68,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day for the second half of 2006.

The company's shares were trading at $37.90, up 18 cents, or 0.5% Wednesday.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.