Under pressure to come up with cash to pay down debt following credit ratings downgrades last week by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, Calpine Corp. said Tuesday that it is considering selling all or a portion of its U.S. natural gas assets, which include about 389 Bcfe of proved gas reserves.

Calpine’s natural gas assets are primarily located in the Sacramento Basin of California, South Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico, with additional holdings in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. Its land interests include 386,674 net developed and undeveloped acres and its gas assets currently produce 90 MMcfe/d from 607 net wells.

Calpine said the net proceeds from any sale of the gas assets would be used in accordance with its existing bond indentures.

The independent power producer saw its stock get hammered last week as the two major Wall Street rating agencies downgraded its credit ratings in the wake of first quarter results released May 5 that showed a bigger loss than a year earlier. Calpine’s long-depressed stock price was pushed under $2/share by week’s end, heading closer to its 52-week low.

Company officials said last week that Calpine has a program in place to reduce its staggering debt by $3 billion to about $15 billion. But there have been concerns in the investment community about the company’s short-term ability to service all of its debt. The company said its lowered credit ratings do not activate any credit triggers. Calpine has strongly rejected recent bankruptcy rumors, reiterating that it is currently on track to raise $900 million from asset sales and repurchase more than $1 billion in corporate debt.

However, S&P said that liquidity concerns will continue in the immediate future because Calpine’s newest debt instruments restrict its ability to issue new debt or sell assets.

Calpine generates power at plants it owns or leases in 21 states in the United States and three provinces in Canada and in the United Kingdom.

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