BP debt rating is cut as gulf oil leak costs mount

Bruce Bullock, director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, talks about BP's debt rating being cut because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

By By Ronald D. White
The Los Angeles Times

BP is becoming the new pariah of the oil industry and faces the possibility of having to sell assets if it can't show some success in the coming weeks at stemming the flow of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, Wall Street analysts and energy experts say.

The fallout from the deadly Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in April continued Thursday, when credit rating firms Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings reduced their assessments of BP's long-term debt. . .

"The costs are growing by the day, the spill is worsening every day, and BP's reputation is declining by the day," said Bruce Bullock, executive director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University.

"Clearly, this is an issue that threatens BP's existence," Bullock said. "The longer it goes on, the more they are threatened."

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