Fitch: Ratings outlook for U.S. oil and gas revised to negativeStaff writer ▼ | January 27, 2016
Fitch Ratings has revised its 2016 rating outlook for the U.S. oil and gas industry to negative from stable.
Energy sources The impact of lower oil and gas prices
As of Jan. 24, 2015, approximately 29% of companies in Fitch's U.S. oil & gas portfolio had Negative Outlooks. Low prices hit high yield oil & gas issuers hard last year, and they remain under considerable stress in this downturn.
Single 'B'-rated companies in particular face a variety of challenges, including a higher cost base, declining hedge coverage, lack of financeable assets and limited market access.
The credit impact of lower oil and gas prices is beginning to ripple out across the investment grade energy space.
While most investment grade names have decent liquidity, cost positions, capex flexibility, and capital markets access, the current environment has pressured credit metrics enough to put downward pressure on ratings.
Investment grade E&Ps currently on negative outlook include ConocoPhillips, Hess, and Southwestern Energy Company. ■