S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a periodic rundown of selected ratings actions on U.S. energy companies. The changes, confined to upgrades, downgrades and changes in outlook, are listed by announcement date in reverse chronological order.
* S&P Global Ratings lowered Westmoreland Coal Co.'s credit rating to CCC+ from B, saying the company's capital structure is "unsustainable" in the long term. Concurrently, the issue-level rating on Oxford Mining Co. LLC's first-lien term loan was lowered to CCC+ from B, with a recovery rating affirmed at 3.
* S&P revised its outlook on Buckeye Partners LP to stable from negative, citing the partnership's broadening scale and the relatively low cash-flow volatility of its storage and transportation businesses. The partnership's corporate credit rating and senior unsecured debt rating were affirmed at BBB-.
* S&P revised the outlook of Southern Co. and its subsidiaries to "negative." The negative outlook is based on S&P's view that Toshiba Corp.'s strained financial condition potentially threatens the viability of its U.S. power business.
* S&P downgraded the outlook of SCANA Corp. and its subsidiaries to negative from stable on "uncertainty" surrounding the future of the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion in South Carolina. S&P also affirmed its ratings on SCANA and its subsidiaries, including the BBB+ issuer credit ratings.
* S&P gave Crestwood Holdings LLC a new corporate credit rating of B- with a stable outlook, reflecting expected distribution growth over the next 12 to 24 months from its master limited partnership, Crestwood Equity Partners LP.
* S&P upgraded its ratings on Williams Cos. Inc. and Williams Partners LP as the entities make significant progress on debt-reduction efforts and financial repositioning. Williams' corporate credit and senior unsecured ratings were raised to BB+ from BB.
* S&P lowered its ratings on WGL Holdings Inc. as the company uses more debt to fund higher capital spending and maintained a negative outlook on the ratings, reflecting a downgrade risk upon completion of WGL's pending merger with AltaGas Ltd.
* Moody's upgraded its outlooks for both TerraForm Power Operating LLC and TerraForm Global Operating LLC, after Brookfield Asset Management Inc. on March 7 announced deals to acquire the two SunEdison Inc.-formed yieldcos, TerraForm Power Inc and TerraForm Global Inc., for a combined enterprise value of approximately $7.9 billion.
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