- Pemex was downgraded by Fitch Ratings to B+ from BB- on Friday
- Fitch highlighted Pemex’s spate of accidents since February
By Amy Stillman/Bloomberg News
EnergiesNet.com 07 17 2022
Fitch Ratings Inc. has downgraded Petroleos Mexicanos deeper into junk, saying it doesn’t expect the company’s oil production to grow and that recent accidents have called into question its operational capacity amid mounting debt.
Pemex’s long-term issuer default rating was downgraded by Fitch to B+ from BB-, and its ratings outlook was changed to negative from stable. “The downgrades reflect Pemex’s continued weak operating performance,” Fitch said in a statement.
The agency lowered the company’s ESG score to reflect “the environmental and social impact associated with multiple accidents at Pemex’s operating facilities since February 2023.” An explosion at a Pemex natural gas platform earlier this month left two people dead. The ratings agency estimates that the government will have to spend roughly $20 billion more than it receives from the company in 2026 and 2027 to keep Pemex afloat. Pemex bonds showed a muted reaction to the news late Friday.
Fitch was the first major ratings agency to downgrade Pemex’s bonds to junk in 2019. In 2021, Pemex terminated its $350,000 contract with Fitch to cut costs. Fitch, meanwhile, said it will maintain ratings and research on the debt-laden Mexican oil giant for the foreseeable future as a service to investors.
Fitch said that Pemex’s poor safety record will hinder financing from banks, investors, and suppliers at a time when Pemex is facing a liquidity crunch. The company has $107.4 billion of debt, the most of any major oil firm, and Fitch anticipated that production will remain flat at 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.
“The numbers speak for themselves and the good news is that this may actually serve as a catalyst to get the sovereign to act,” said BBVA credit strategist George Ordonez.
— With Michael O’Boyle
bloomberg.com 07 14 2023