• Ratings companies react differently to BHP’s decision to sell oil and gas business

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

In an interesting show of diverging views on the part of ratings agencies towards the oil and gas industry, global mining giant BHP has had a mixed response to its decision to sell its oil and gas business to Australia’s Woodside Petroleum. S&P Global has put BHP’s investment grade A and A-1 short-term rating “on CreditWatch with negative implications”, while Moody’s described the deal as signalling “further material progress in BHP’s push to lower carbon emissions and increases the portfolio mix towards commodities that will likely benefit from the global push to decarbonise.” The company’s oil and gas business accounted for about 6% of its revenue over the last Australian financial year, and S&P sees the move as decreasing the company’s diversification of assets, thereby increasing its risk. For BHP’s part, it says the sale will allow it to focus on commodities associated with the clean energy transition. Time will tell which ratings agency has the better premonition.