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Rating Action:

Moody's changes outlook on BP Plc's A2 rating to positive following proposed Macondo settlement

03 Jul 2015

NOTE: On November 25, 2015, the press release was corrected as follows: In the list of outlook actions, added the following:

Issuer: BP Company North America Inc.
....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

Revised release follows:

London, 03 July 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has today changed to positive from negative the outlook on the A2 long-term debt and Prime-1 commercial paper ratings of BP plc (BP) and its guaranteed subsidiaries. The outlook change follows BP's announcement of an $18.7 billion agreement in principle to settle all major federal, state and municipal claims against its wholly-owned subsidiary, BP Exploration and Production Inc (BPXP), related to the Macondo accident and oil spill of April 2010. At the same time, Moody's affirmed the ratings.

The rating agency also changed to positive from negative the outlook on the A3 and Baa1 Issuer Ratings of BP Finance PLC and BP Corporation North America Inc., respectively. Concurrently, it also affirmed these ratings.

"While the settlement is large, we view the scope and extended payout terms as important and positive developments for BP, allowing it to move forward with a lot more certainty around the size and cash flow burden of its legal liabilities. It will also help clarify a stronger core operating and credit profile for BP as it moves into a post-Macondo era", said Tom Coleman, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

A full list of affected debt can be found at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Today's rating action primarily reflects BPXP's agreement, which covers a broad range of claims with the federal and state governments as well as municipalities. It will result in up to $18.7 billion of payments to the claimants, with the bulk to be made over a period of 15 to 18 years. All of BPXP's payments will be guaranteed by both BP Corporation North America and BP plc, avoiding any need for bonding, letters of credit or other collateral and leaving BP's $32 billion cash position unencumbered.

Most notably, the payments settle the Clean Water Act (CWA) fines and penalties at $5.5 billion an amount to be paid over 15 years and well towards the lower end of a potential range given the gross negligence finding against BP. Other major payouts include $7.3 billion to the federal and state governments for natural resource damage (NRD) claims, and $4.9 billion to settle all the claims of the five Gulf Coast states, with payments for both spread over a period of 18 years. Local municipalities will also settle for payments that could reach $1 billion. Most of these outflows other than the CWA fines will be tax deductible, and a portion will be paid from funds remaining in the Deepwater Horizon Trust Fund.

The settlement will result in about $10 billion of additional pre-tax charges to income in the second quarter of 2015, bringing BP's total Macondo-related charges to $53.5 billion since 2010. While substantial, the additional charge can be absorbed by BP's balance sheet, with a current book equity in the area of $111 billion. From a cash flow perspective, the extended payout terms will considerably smooth out and ease the impact of the payments on BP's cash flow from operations, resulting in annual outflows in the area of $1.1 billion, a supportable amount in the context of BP's $30 billion cash flow profile.

Equally important, the settlements will greatly reduce the overhang of Macondo liabilities and allow BP to move forward and better focus on its core operations after a long period of restructuring and retrenchment. Despite the losses and liabilities stemming from the Macondo accident and more than $38 billion of asset divestments since 2010, BP retains a fundamental asset and operating profile that is stronger than indicated by its A2 long-term rating, along with moderate financial leverage and strong liquidity.

The settlement agreements are still subject to a period of public comment with final sign off via a Consent Decree by the District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, which could take some months. Moody's believes that the preliminary agreement looks secure given the active participation of all the major claimants, but the rating agency would need to reconsider BP's positive rating outlook if the settlement were derailed for any reason.

In addition, despite the broad scope of the settlement, other claims remain unresolved, including the total Plaintiff Steering Committee (PSC) claims above and beyond BP's current $10.3 billion settlement provision; claims from parties that opted out of the original PSC settlement; and the pending MDL 2185 securities class action suit filed in District Court in Houston.

BP's cash flow profile and liquidity have stabilized and remained strong as it restructured in the wake of the Macondo accident. The positive outlook will bridge to the final signing of the Consent Decree and also allow Moody's to assess BP's progress in resolving remaining Macondo liabilities and delivering on its strategic plan.

What could change the rating -- UP

Moody's will continue to monitor achievement of the final Consent Decree and the potential resolution of other Macondo liabilities. Further clarity on these events and continued execution of BP's strategic plan, including the achievement of cash flow neutrality in a lower oil price environment and how it manages its leverage and large cash position, could lead to an upgrade.

What could change the rating -- DOWN

Reversals or material weak revisions in the proposed settlements, coupled with more fundamental issues such as setbacks to BP's strategic plan, or substantial erosion in its net leverage position and large cash balances, could lead to a rating downgrade.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Global Integrated Oil & Gas Industry published in April 2014. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Atlantic Richfield Company

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

..Issuer: BP AMI Leasing, Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

..Issuer: BP Capital Markets America Inc

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

..Issuer: BP Capital Markets plc

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

Issuer: BP Company North America Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

..Issuer: BP Corporation North America, Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

..Issuer: BP Finance Plc

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

..Issuer: BP p.l.c.

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

..Issuer: Standard Oil Company

....Outlook, Changed To Positive From Negative

Affirmations:

..Issuer: Allegany (Cnty of) NY, Ind. Devel. Agency

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Anaconda-Deer Lodge (County of) MT

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Atlantic Richfield Company

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A2

..Issuer: Beaver (County of) PA, Industrial Devel Auth

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Berkeley (County of) SC

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: BP AMI Leasing, Inc.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A2

..Issuer: BP Capital Markets America Inc

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A2

..Issuer: BP Capital Markets plc

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Shelf, Affirmed (P)A2

..Issuer: BP Corporation North America, Inc.

.... Issuer Rating , Affirmed Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: BP Finance Plc

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed A3

..Issuer: BP p.l.c.

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed A2

..Issuer: Calhoun (County of) TX, Nav. Ind. Dev. Auth.

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed Aaa

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: California Pollution Control Financing Auth.

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Decatur Industrial Development Board, AL

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Delaware County Industrial Dev. Auth., PA

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Gulf Coast Industrial Development Authority

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority, TX

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Hammond (City of) IN

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Hockley (County of) TX, Ind. Dev. Corp.

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Hurley (Town of) NM

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: La Plata (County of) CO

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Marshall (County of) WV

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Mississippi Business Finance Corporation

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: North Slope (Borough of) AK

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Ohio (State of)

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Ohio Water Development Authority

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

..Issuer: Plaquemines (Parish of) LA

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: Port of Bellingham Industrial Dev. Corp., WA

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds , Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Standard Oil Company

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed A2

..Issuer: Texas City Industrial Development Corp., TX

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

..Issuer: Uinta (County of) WY

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Valdez (City of) AK

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: West Side Calhoun (County of) TX, Dev. Corp.

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

..Issuer: West Side Calhoun Cnty Navigation Distr., TX

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Whiting (City of) IN

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Will (County of) IL

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds (Local Currency), Affirmed VMIG 1

..Issuer: Yoakum (County of) TX, Ind. Dev. Corp.

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed A2

....Revenue Bonds, Affirmed P-1

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The following information supplements Disclosure 10 ("Information Relating to Conflicts of Interest as required by Paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(J) of SEC Rule 17g-7") in the regulatory disclosures made at the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for each credit rating as indicated:

Moody's was not paid for services other than determining a credit rating in the most recently ended fiscal year by the person(s) that paid Moody's to determine this credit rating.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Thomas S. Coleman
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

David G. Staples
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Telephone: 00971 4237 9536

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's changes outlook on BP Plc's A2 rating to positive following proposed Macondo settlement
No Related Data.
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