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Action items: S&P upgrades Buckeye Partners, Crestwood Holdings, Williams

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.

March 29

* 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.

March 27

* 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-.

March 24

* 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.

March 23

* 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.

March 8

* 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.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.