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Rating Action:

Moody's concludes reviews for 6 A & Baa-rated US E&P companies and 1 MLP

25 Feb 2016

Note: On May 16, 2016, the press release was corrected as follows: In the Ratings Rationale section, the following was added as the eighth paragraph: “Please click on this link for the outlooks and factors that could lead to an upgrade or downgrade of the ratings for each of the issuers discussed in this press release. This link is an integral part of this press release.” Revised release follows.

New York, February 25, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) concluded rating reviews on three A-rated US exploration and production (E&P) companies, three Baa-rated US E&P companies, and one associated midstream MLP. Moody's downgraded 2 companies' ratings one notch, 2 companies' ratings two notches, 2 companies' ratings three notches, and 1 company's ratings four notches. A list of each company's rating actions is included below.

Oil prices have dropped substantially reflecting continuing oversupply in the global oil markets, very high inventory levels and additional Iranian oil exports coming on line. Furthermore, North American natural gas and natural gas liquids prices remain quite weak. Moody's lowered its oil price estimates on January 21 and expects a slow recovery for oil prices over the next several years. For E&P companies, cash flow declines in tandem with oil and natural gas prices, with the decline weakening credit metrics and liquidity, and increasing their negative free cash flow. The drop in energy prices and corresponding capital markets concerns will also raise financing costs and increase refinancing risks for E&P companies.

The drop in oil prices and weak natural gas prices has caused a fundamental change in the energy industry, and its ability to generate cash flow has fallen substantially. Moody's believes this condition will persist for several years. As a result, Moody's is recalibrating the ratings of many energy companies to reflect this industry shift. However, the impact of the drop in oil prices and low natural gas prices will vary substantially from issuer to issuer. Therefore, Moody's downgraded ratings by one to four notches.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Apache Corporation

Moody's downgraded Apache's senior unsecured rating to Baa3 from Baa1, with a negative outlook. Moody's also downgraded Apache's short-term commercial paper ratings to Prime-3 from Prime-2. The Baa3 senior unsecured rating incorporates Moody's expectation of much lower cash flow generation and correspondingly weak cash flow based credit metrics. The Baa3 rating is supported by Apache's sizable cash balance, aggressive reductions in capital spending which has limited anticipated negative free cash flow in 2016 and 2017, and only modest debt maturities through 2020. The company's asset portfolio benefits from the ownership of producing properties in the North Sea and Egypt that generate meaningful cash flow even in a low price environment, adding diversification to its high quality large acreage positions in multiple basins in North America. The company also has stronger asset value coverage of debt than most peers, which combined with its sizable cash balances and flexible capital spending requirements gives the company the optionality to further reduce debt in order to strengthen its metrics over the course of 2016 and 2017.

ConocoPhillips

Moody's downgraded ConocoPhillips's (COP) senior unsecured ratings to Baa2 from A2, with a negative outlook. Moody's also downgraded COP's short-term commercial paper ratings to Prime-2 from Prime-1. The Baa2 senior unsecured rating reflects a reasonable positioning relative to its independent exploration and production (E&P) peers, with the benefit of a much larger and more diversified reserves and production profile, but with a more elevated financial leverage profile. The company has considerable scale and global geographic diversification of reserves and production, and a large cash flow profile generated from a wide base of mature producing assets across oil, liquids, and oil-linked LNG, as well as a meaningful legacy position in North American natural gas. We expect COP's cash flow-based leverage metrics to deteriorate in 2016 and remain weak through 2017 relative to its investment-grade rated E&P peers. In addition, COP's debt levels will modestly increase in 2016 as dividends and capital spending remain in excess of internal cash flows, despite the benefit of both dividend and capital spending reductions.

Devon Energy Corporation

Moody's downgraded Devon's senior unsecured ratings to Ba2 from Baa1, with a negative outlook. At the same time, Moody's assigned Devon a Ba2 Corporate Family Rating (CFR). The Ba2 CFR reflects Moody's expectation that Devon will have challenged cash flow and asset coverage of debt during a sustained low commodity price environment. The Ba2 CFR also reflects weak operating and capital productivity as compared to peers. Devon's Ba2 CFR is supported by the significant size and scale of its E&P operations, its diversified geographic presence across key onshore hydrocarbon basins in North America, and a manageable overall portfolio decline rate. The rating is further supported by Devon's interest in the EnLink companies, which own a sizeable and valuable midstream business and represents a source of alternative liquidity for Devon.

EnLink Midstream Partners, LP

Moody's downgraded EnLink's senior unsecured ratings to Ba2 from Baa3, with a negative outlook, consistent with the downgrade of the controlling owner of EnLink's General Partner, Devon Energy. At the same time, Moody's assigned EnLink a Ba2 Corporate Family Rating (CFR). While EnLink's stand-alone credit profile is more consistent with a Ba1 rating, EnLink's high customer concentration risk with Devon combined with Devon's controlling ownership effectively limits its rating to that of Devon's. EnLink's stand-alone credit profile benefits from a very high proportion of fee-based revenue and strong amount of minimum volume commitments that help provide volume stability and support cash flow visibility over the next several years, and an increasingly coordinated growth strategy with Devon. These strengths are partially offset by EnLink LP's concentration in the mature Barnett Shale, where volumes have been in decline, and the need to continue to offset this exposure through growth in other regions. The rating is also restrained by the inherent risks associated with EnLink's high-payout master limited partnership (MLP) business model.

EOG Resources, Inc.

Moody's downgraded EOG's senior unsecured rating to Baa1 from A3, with a stable outlook. EOG's Baa1 senior unsecured rating reflects a long track record of good capital reinvestment productivity and organic growth, and a good liquidity profile through 2017. Given the weak commodity price outlook, Moody's expects EOG to outspend cash flow in 2016 and its production to decline modestly, which will pressure leverage and return metrics. However, we expect leverage metrics and returns to improve in 2017 and remain well positioned relative to its Baa-rated E&P peers.

Marathon Oil Corporation

Moody's downgraded Marathon's senior unsecured rating to Ba1 from Baa1 with a negative outlook. At the same time, Moody's assigned a Corporate Family Rating (CFR) of Ba1. Marathon's Ba1 CFR reflects the considerable deterioration of credit metrics likely in 2016 due to the weak commodity price outlook. The oil focused production base will contribute to worsening cash margins, cash flow generation, capital efficiency ratios and leverage metrics. The company's position as a large independent exploration and production (E&P) company with a diversified reserve and production base supports the rating. In 2016, management is likely to adjust its capital spending program to a significantly lower level and focus capital expenditures on the North American resource plays having the best returns and lower risk. There is some refinancing risk associated with the 2017 and 2018 maturities and liquidity stress on the company could increase, absent sizable asset sales. However, the company's large cash balance and undrawn revolver alleviate near-term liquidity concerns.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Moody's downgraded Occidental's (OXY) senior unsecured debt rating to A3 from A2, with a stable outlook. Moody's also downgraded OXY's short-term commercial paper rating to Prime-2 from Prime-1. The A3 unsecured debt rating is supported by OXY's substantial scale and diversification, its long-lived US oil and gas assets predominantly located in the Permian Basin and its modest financial leverage, offset by weakness in cash flow brought about by the multi-year low price of crude oil and US natural gas. Because of its relatively limited exposure to high decline rate unconventional resource production, OXY can adjust the capital spending required to maintain its asset base while generating modest production growth. OXY entered 2016 with a $4.4 billion cash balance, which readily funds two years of declining negative free cash flow and helps enable the company maintain its high cash dividend payout. The size of its annual dividend pressures OXY's modest retained cash flow to debt metric, without which would be significantly higher. Notwithstanding healthy cash balances, minimal debt reduction is anticipated.

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_189600 for the outlooks and factors that could lead to an upgrade or downgrade of the ratings for each of the issuers discussed in this press release. The link is an integral part of this press release.

The principal methodology used in rating ConocoPhillips, Burlington Resources, Inc., Burlington Resources Finance Company, ConocoPhillips Canada Funding Company II, Louisiana Land & Exploration Company, ConocoPhillips Canada Funding Company I, ConocoPhillips Company, Conoco Funding Company, ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Limited, ConocoPhillips Holding Company, Polar Tankers, Inc., Tosco Corporation, ConocoPhillips Qatar Funding Ltd., Occidental Petroleum Corporation, EOG Resources, Inc., Apache Corporation, Apache Finance Canada Corporation, Apache Finance Canada II Corporation, Marathon Oil Corporation, Devon Energy Corporation, Devon Financing Corporation U.L.C., and Devon Financing Trust II was Global Independent Exploration and Production Industry published in December 2011. The principal methodology used in rating EnLink Midstream Partners, LP was Global Midstream Energy published in December 2010. Please see the Ratings Methodology page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

..Issuer: Burlington Resources Finance Company

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Burlington Resources Finance Company

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Burlington Resources, Inc.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Burlington Resources, Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Conoco Funding Company

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Conoco Funding Company

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips

.... Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

.... Senior Unsec. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Baa2 from (P)A2

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Downgraded to P-2 from P-1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Canada Funding Company I

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Canada Funding Company I

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Canada Funding Company II

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Canada Funding Company II

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Limited

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Limited

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Company

.... Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

....Senior Secured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

....Senior Secured Equipment Trust, Downgraded to Baa1 from A1

....Senior Secured Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Baa1 from (P)A1

....Senior Unsecured Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Baa2 from (P)A2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)Baa2 from (P)A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Company

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Holding Company

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

..Issuer: ConocoPhillips Qatar Funding Ltd.

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Downgraded to P-2 from P-1

..Issuer: EOG Resources, Inc.

.... Commercial Paper, Confirmed at P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa1 from A3

.... Senior Unsec. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Baa1 from (P)A3

.... Subordinate Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Baa2 from (P)Baa1

.... Pref. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Baa3 from (P)Baa2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: EOG Resources, Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Louisiana Land & Exploration Company

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Louisiana Land & Exploration Company

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Polar Tankers, Inc.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Polar Tankers, Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Tosco Corporation

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

..Issuer: Valdez (City of) AK

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Downgraded to Baa2 from A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Downgraded to VMIG 3 from VMIG 1

..Issuer: Occidental Petroleum Corporation

.... Commercial Paper, Downgraded to P-2 from P-1

.... Issuer Rating, Downgraded to A3 from A2

.... Senior Unsec. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)A3 from (P)A2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)A3 from (P)A2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to A3 from A2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Occidental Petroleum Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Maryland Industrial Development Financ. Auth.

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Downgraded to A3 from A2

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Downgraded to VMIG 2 from VMIG 1

..Issuer: Maury (County of) TN, Indust. Devel. Board

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Downgraded to A3 from A2

..Issuer: Apache Corporation

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Downgraded to P-3 from P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Apache Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Apache Finance Canada Corporation

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Apache Finance Canada Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Apache Finance Canada II Corporation

.... Senior Unsec. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Baa3 from (P)Baa1

.... Subordinate Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Ba1 from (P)Baa2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Apache Finance Canada II Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Marathon Oil Corporation

Assignments:

.... Probability of Default Rating, Assigned Ba1-PD

.... Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, Assigned SGL-2

.... Corporate Family Rating, Assigned Ba1

Downgrades:

.... Senior Unsec. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Ba1 from (P)Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Downgraded to NP from P-2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)Ba1 from (P)Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Ba1 (LGD 4) from Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Marathon Oil Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: St. John the Baptist (Parish of) LA

....Senior Unsecured Revenue Bonds, Downgraded to Ba1 from Baa1

..Issuer: Devon Energy Corporation

Assignments:

.... Probability of Default Rating, Assigned Ba2-PD

.... Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, Assigned SGL-2

.... Corporate Family Rating, Assigned Ba2

Downgrades:

.... Pref. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)B1 from (P)Baa3

.... Subordinate Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Ba3 from (P)Baa2

.... Senior Unsec. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Ba2 from (P)Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Downgraded to NP from P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Ba2 (LGD 4) from Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Devon Energy Corporation

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Devon Financing Corporation U.L.C.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Ba2 (LGD 4) from Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Ba2 from (P)Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Devon Financing Corporation U.L.C.

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: Devon Financing Trust II

....Pref. Stock Shelf, Downgraded to (P)B1 from (P)Baa3

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Devon Financing Trust II

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Issuer: EnLink Midstream Partners, LP

.... Senior Unsec. Shelf, Downgraded to (P)Ba2 from (P)Baa3

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debentures, Downgraded to Ba2 (LGD 4) from Baa3

Reinstatements:

.... Probability of Default Rating, Reinstated to Ba2-PD

.... Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, Reinstated to SGL-3

.... Corporate Family Rating, Reinstated to Ba2

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: EnLink Midstream Partners, LP

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

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 credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit 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 credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit 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 below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

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.

Gretchen French
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Steven Wood
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's concludes reviews for 6 A & Baa-rated US E&P companies and 1 MLP
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY’S affiliate, Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to “wholesale clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY’S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a “wholesale client” and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to “retail clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY’S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. (“MJKK”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody’s Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody’s SF Japan K.K. (“MSFJ”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“NRSRO”). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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