Questar Corp. considering spin-off

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Salt Lake City-based Questar Corp. is announcing a plan to spin off its exploration and development operations into a separate company.

Questar is a gas and oil producer, pipeline operator and regulated utility.

The proposal is subject to approval of Questar's board of directors. Questar made the announcement after the close of trading Wednesday and was awaiting market reaction.

Questar shareholders would get an equal value of shares in both companies, Questar Corp. and another that hasn't been named yet and would be headquartered in Denver.

Questar chief Keith Rattie says the split is intended to separate the regulated parts of the company that provide steady but conservative returns from the more volatile drilling business, which has grown rapidly in recent years.

Executives say it should be business as usual for ratepayers.

President and CEO of Questar Gas Corp. Ron Jibson said, "We see this transaction as having no impact of their rates. It should have no impact on their service other than to potentially be better."

Questar operates in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.

Questar subsidiaries include Questar Exploration and Production Company, Questar Gas Management, Questar Energy Trading, Wexpro Company, Questar Pipeline, and Questar Gas Company.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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