Post-Oil Spill, Nothing Positive for Anadarko!

With the rising estimates of damages that the Company would have to pay following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on its mind, credit rater Fitch Ratings on Tuesday altered its viewpoint on Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC) from stable to negative.

And with this, Fitch became the third major credit rater to lower its outlook on APC, the earlier ones being Standards & Poor's Ratings Services and Moody's Investors Service.

While Moody's Investors Service was the first one to cut its outlook on the company from stable to negative two weeks ago, Standards & Poor's Ratings Services followed suit a week later. This all, because of the increasing estimates of damages that the Company would have to pay due to the disastrous oil spill.

Fitch posted: “We believe that Anadarko will not have to pay punitive damages since it is a non-operating partner; however, it may have to pay its 25% share of containment and cleanup costs as well as compensatory economic damages depending on a number of factors”.

In addition, the Company noted that the negative outlook reflects the potential for containment and cleanup costs as well as compensatory economic damages to greatly exceed these estimates.

Notably, analysts believe that APC would have to shell out about $6 billion for damages incurred due to the oil spill.